Short-handed: Running busiest emergency, LRH lacks staff

Appointments of at least 70 doctors yet to be made at the hospital.

Manzoor Ali June 14, 2011


While terrorist attacks surge in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the appointments of at least 70 doctors at Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) accident and emergency department are in limbo for the past nine months, sources told The Express Tribune.

The sources said that the emergency department is badly in need of doctors, paramedics, nurses, ward orderlies as well as equipment to deal with mass emergencies.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the vacancies for 70 doctors, including 60 medical officers and 10 specialists, were created earlier in 2007 and were later advertised. However, no appointment has so far been made. They said that the delay in appointments was creating hurdles in dealing with emergencies.

“It is not clear why the government is not making appointments on these posts,” the sources said.

A senior doctor told The Express Tribune that a proper system to deal with mass emergencies has not yet been developed in the province.

“Ideally, the police should go to a crime scene and cordon it off and then the victims should be shifted to hospitals according to the nature of their injuries,” he said.

“Following the Khyber Super Market blasts, at least 33 bodies were transferred to the LRH, whereas they could have been shifted to the Police Hospital,” the doctor, who chose to stay anonymous, said.

He was of the view that instead of shifting all of the injured as well as the bodies to LRH, rescue staff should shift patients with burn injuries to the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) and those with minor injuries to other hospitals.

“Five to six people follow a single patient and it makes work extremely difficult for doctors,” he added.

The doctor said that LHR’s A&ED premises is relatively small and whenever there is an emergency, not only does it create difficulties for doctors, but it also creates security problems.

“We have asked the authorities to not let people in during emergencies, but this is yet to take form.”

LHR’s casualty department has been provided with five commandos for security by the government.

According to officials, the department “is the world’s busiest emergency ward”, as it has treated a majority of terrorism victims in the province and tribal areas.

The hospital’s data shows that at least 4,079 blast patients were brought to this facility between 2007 and June 12, 2011, out of which at least 3,466 were injured, while 613 were dead.

Sources also said that the provincial government had approved Rs10 million for the provision of sheets to cover patients, air conditioning facility, free medicines, apart from other facilities. However, the money was not being utilised for these purposes and the administration is the only one aware of where the money is being spent.

“It is not clear whether this money was diverted to some other projects,” the sources added.

They also said that according to plans, drinks, food, tea and other refreshments would be provided to the attendants of patients. However, the fact remains that even the staff of the hospital do not have drinking water.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2011.


sajjad | 10 years ago | Reply there are many person at that hospital do some thing for theme day by day have many problem
Grace | 10 years ago | Reply If anything I would think that that the government there needs to make a brand new trauma centre in the area to serve the needs of the people who have endured the worst terrorism from anti state criminals. Where is the aid money being spent? The West should see the price Pakistan is paying for this war and how many Pak civilians and servicemen are dying in attacks. We need to have a state of the art facility there to attend to the real needs of victims and an effective ambulance and emergency service in KP.
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