A multi-party conference was held to look into the lack of facilities, cleanliness, water and medicines available at Civil Hospital Sukkur.
The meeting, that was organised by the Sukkur Social Welfare Development and was presided over by its president, advocate Sikandar Ali Shah, also discussed complaints of the doctors behaving negatively with the patients.
The participants criticised the lack of facilities at the hospital and said that the atmosphere should be neat, clean and patient-friendly. The lack of sanitation has an adverse affect on the patients. They said that, most of the time the hospital faces a shortage of water, to the extent that there is no water available in the washrooms. Other complaints that were raised were that patients visiting the out-patient department (OPD) have to wait in queue to be looked at because either the doctor is not available or is busy socialising. No medicines are given to the OPD patients, and those admitted in the indoor patient department have to purchase medicines from the stores, they added.
There were complaints that the food provided to the patients by the hospital administration is very unpalatable and most of the patients prefer to purchase food from hotels near the hospital.
Patients travel to the hospital from far away and their attendants need a place to sleep at night. The participants said that the hospital staff is asking attendants to pay to live in the spaces that have been set up at the hospital specifically for them.
The hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Mehboob Shah, accepted that there is a lack of facilities in the hospital and said that “the main reason for a lack of cleanliness in the hospital is the shortage of water. The water supplied to the hospital by the North Sindh Urban Services Corporation (NSUSC) is insufficient and finishes within two to three hours. I have spoken to the NSUSC authorities and they have promised to provide ample water to the hospital.”
He also said that the patients admitted in the indoor patient department are receiving their medicines regularly, while in OPD the patients are given medicines according to the hospital’s limited resources.
The MS claims he has been doing his best to fix the negative attitude of the doctors, but it will take time. “Since my posting at the hospital over a month ago, I have been urging doctors to make the patients their priority and to attend to them without wasting any time. Things will take some time to become better.”
As far as the food was concerned, Shah claimed that the hospital was making efforts to provide good food to the patients. “The patients are getting chicken thrice a week, while on other days they are given lentils and vegetables. This is besides the biscuits and tea that we give them every morning and evening,” said Shah. He was optimistic that, with coordinated and sincere efforts, the hospital administration will be able to bring a positive change in to the hospital.
The conference was attended by many local leaders, Ghulam Mustafa Phulpoto of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaaz, Mehboob Sahito of Sunni Tehreek, Dr Saeed Awan of Tanzeem-e-Pakistan among others. The hospital’s resident medical officer Dr Hazoor Bux Tunio, Dr Saeed Awan and Sikandar Ali Shah also attended.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2011.
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