Naureen expected to deliver her baby on Monday, but for the third consecutive day, doctors at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) refused to attend her. She has been visiting the hospital from the first month of her pregnancy and has a medical card.
“I was made to sit on the bench the whole day and then told that the senior gynaecologist who was to decide whether I would have a normal delivery had gone to a meeting,” said Naureen.
“They have asked me to come again in a day or two.” This is her second pregnancy. She experienced complications while delivering her first baby and the delay is upsetting her.
“I can’t afford a taxi, but it has become very difficult to travel by wagon due to my condition,” she said.
Naureen even went to the emergency ward of the gynaecology department hoping somebody would take pity on her, but she was again referred to the out-patient department.
Naureen, 26, lives in Bhara Kahu and her husband is a security guard.
Every day women queue up in the gynaecology department, but even those who come on the due date given by doctors are turned away.
Naeema Bibi, 35, is another expectant mother who spent the whole night outside the labour room without being attended to.
“My wife was in extreme pain and I repeatedly requested the staff on duty to attend to her but everybody kept referring her to the next person,” said Naeema Bibi’s husband, Jamal.
He had brought his wife from Talagang for the second time on the date given by the doctor, who he had just learnt was unavailable. “I’ve decided not to bring her again. It’s better to take her to some private clinic closer to home or hire a midwife,” he said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, a senior nurse, requesting anonymity, said a large number of expecting mothers are turned away by the doctors every day.
Each time they are given a new date. Very few women are actually able to deliver their babies on the due date.
“Delay in deliveries also causes complications and sometimes expecting mothers from far-flung areas die during travel,” she said.
Home deliveries may lead to excessive bleeding, resulting in the death of the mother or baby, low heartbeat in the newborn and other complications.
When contacted, Pims Executive Director Prof. Riaz Warraich said, “I’m aware of delays in delivery cases and I’ve decided to change the gynecology staff’s duty roasters to be enforced from Monday.”
I’ve also asked the concerned official to provide me documents containing information on the scheduled surgeries, date and time, he added.
Professor Ghazala Mehmood, head of Gynecology department was unavailable for comment.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2012.
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