For the sick, even Eid is not an excuse to go home

Many patients spend holidays in hospital as doctors only allow non-critical cases to be discharged.

Obaid Abbasi August 19, 2012


Everybody would like to celebrate Eid with their families, but for hundreds of patients in the twin cities, there will be no escaping the sterile environment of government hospitals.

“I had heart surgery and the doctor advised me to observe one week of bed rest, which seems very difficult,’’ said Khanzada Amjad, a patient at the cardiology ward of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims). A father of four, Amjad said he would miss his family, especially his children who are at home in Haripur. “I asked my doctor to let me go but he refused to discharge me,” he added.

Aliya Nasim, 26, has lung cancer and has spent the past eight months in Benazir Bhutto Hospital. She said this would be her first Eid in hospital. However, she was hoping that spending Eid with the nurses and hospital staff would be a good experience.

Her mother shared that her daughter’s illness had forced the entire family to spend Eid with her in the hospital. She said the family was facing problems due to her daughter’s prolonged illness. “I asked the doctors to at least let her go home for four days but they refused because of the risk of complications.”

Pims Spokesperson Waseem Khawaja told The Express Tribune that doctors understand their patients’ desire to celebrate Eid with their families. “Attendants often approach the concerned doctors requesting that their patients be discharged for Eid, and it is a very difficult decision,” he added.

Maroofa Khatoon, 65, has been admitted to Polyclinic Hospital for the past four months. Khatoon, who is paralysed from the waist down, said, “I’ve never celebrated Eid away from family in my entire life. I couldn’t imagine I would have to spend this day at the hospital but I am helpless as the doctors are unwilling to discharge me,” said the teary-eyed grandmother.

Polyclinic Spokesperson Dr Sharif Astori said every doctor would like patients to go home for Eid if their condition is stable, but they cannot take risks with their health. “Patients who are not critical were allowed to go home, but others have to stay on. It is for their welfare and care that doctors remain on duty during the Eid break,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.


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