Mattani blast : In the worst of times, hospital fails to accomodate victims

Lack of ambulances forces rescue teams to shift dead, injured in private vehicles.

Noorwali Shah August 31, 2012


At a stone’s throw distance from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly where the ruling ANP and opposition parties were engaged in a prolonged session, the relatives of the Mattani blast victims faced immense apathy by health authorities.

At the site of Friday’s blast, which killed at least 11 people and injured 18, there were a few ambulances and most of the injured and dead brought to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) emergency by rescue teams had to be carried in private vehicles.

The biggest hospital of the province, which has served countless victims of militancy in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas, faced a grave shortage of both ambulances and stretchers.

The emergency ward of the LRH once again resonated with cries, which it has heard all too frequently in the past few years.

Majority of the injured brought to the hospital had to be shifted in beds that their families had brought with them or in hospital beds brought from other wards.

Three critically injured people, who were brought in a pickup truck, had to carried on other people’s backs as there was no stretcher left for them in the emergency unit.

Infuriated families of the victims hurled abuses at the government and police for not cooperating with them after the blast “The police officers were standing at a distance when the blast occurred. They watched the scene as spectators,” said witness Wahab Gul, adding “Neither did the police help us call ambulances nor did it assist us in rescue efforts because they feared that another blast may occur.”

He said that victims were initially taken to a small hospital near the site, but due to lack of medical staff available, treatment could not be provided. “We had to travel a long way to bring the injured to the LRH,” he further said.

“Why is the government paying salaries to police personnel who can neither protect us from such attacks nor help us in emergency situations?” Wahab said aloud to the people gathered around him.

The lack of ambulances needed in time to take bodies to their respective areas led to a scuffle between relatives and hospital staff.

Family members of the victims attacked ambulances whose drivers in turn refused to take the bodies back.

An ambulance driver was severely beaten by relatives and shattered glass covered the area. Meanwhile police officials, once again, stand and watched.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2012.


Pakistani Pathan | 9 years ago | Reply

its is very sad and still pakistan support such criminals in afghanistan its such a shame ,, policy needs to be changed nw or else such kinda islam shud also be imposed in lahore and sindh

Pakistani Pukhtun | 9 years ago | Reply

very painful to read this kind of news, Peshawar is on the front line of war from the last 3 decades, Government should make the health sector better there.

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