Healthy concerns: Patients losing patience with Bahawal Victoria Hospital

Patients complained about lack of proper facilities and hygiene issues at the hospital.

Kashif Ansari July 15, 2011


The Bahawal Victoria Hospital is currently in a terrible state, as dozens of patients and families have complained about the deplorable conditions at the hospital.

The hospital houses 1,410 beds and a total of 1,900 patients are currently under treatment at the hospital.

Hospital officials said that the laundry plant of the hospital was insufficient and only 250 bed sheets could be washed daily which wasn’t enough.

“My wife delivered a baby and they didn’t even wash the sheets before another patient was shifted to her bed,” said Karna Basti resident Khalid. “There are lice and bugs in the bed sheets and we always end up bringing our own cutlery so we can avoid using the hospital cutlery which is filthy,” said patient Musa Kareem.

Several patients complained about the gynaecology ward, saying that patients were often ignored and that nurses seldom attended to them.

“I was in the middle of giving birth when my doctor left the room to attend a phone call. There wasn’t even a nurse in the room to help me deliver my son,” Shagufta Raza said.

A nurse at the hospital, Mehreen, said that the worst problems were caused by load shedding.

“This is a hospital and we cannot afford to stall surgeries because of power outages but we do. There is a generator standing in the middle of the ward but no one has bothered to repair it in six months,” she said.

Mohalla Baharan resident Shahid said that the emergency ward at the hospital was always in chaos. “The ultrasound machine doesn’t work and there are only two operational x-ray machines for the entire hospital. We had to send out for my father’s lab tests and there were no chemists at the so-called ‘free medicine’ dispensary,” he said.

Hospital officials said that they have appealed to the Health Department for funds repeatedly but their requests have been ignored. “I have sent dozens of notices to hire additional staff, update the machinery and improve things but we simply don’t have the money.

The Health Department hasn’t given us anything,” said Rashid Masood, a doctor at the hospital. “The chief minister has made repeated claims about improving the health and education sector but none of it is materialising because the departments aren’t taking any action,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2011.


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