Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH), the second largest public hospital in Rawalpindi, is facing an acute shortage of X-ray film. As a result, patients are suffering as they have to get X-rays done from private labs, which cost them Rs 200 to Rs 500.
Talking to The Express Tribune, a hospital source said that for the past month, the hospital has been short of film and several times complaints had been registered with the administration, but nothing has been done to address the problem. The source said the shortage has left almost all outpatients departments (OPDs) unable to send patients for X-rays, as only emergency and inpatient departments are allowed to use the remaining film. Patients who have to undergo surgeries are suffering the most. On an average day, over 500 X-rays are required by outpatients.
“Throughout the day, the emergency department has been receiving patients who need urgent X-rays, with most being sent elsewhere. Very few selective patients get a chance to have this facility there,” he said.
Arshad was in an accident on 6th Road a few days back and fractured his right hand and leg.
“We took him to the BBH emergency ward where we were told to get his X-rays done from somewhere else. It was very difficult to move him as he in intense pain. Later we just took him to Holy Family Hospital (HFH),” said Aleem, his elder brother.
BBH Medical Superintendent Dr Asif Qadir Mir denied any such issue existed and said there is no shortage of film in the hospital, claiming that all the patients are being facilitated.
“The patients complaining are those who asked for X-ray and we did not do it as they did not need it. How a hospital management can fulfill the requirement of unnecessary X-rays,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2012.