“The doctors sit idle in their rooms while the patients suffer,” says Muhammad Ashraf from Vehari, whose newborn nephew is suffering from fever for five days at the Bahawal Victoria Hospital, Bahawalpur.
“Medicines are not available at the hospital…the ward boy whose job is to provide oxygen takes Rs50 each time for doing what he’s already being paid to do,” he says.
Ahsraf says the children’s ward is a mess with broken water pipes and unhygienic bathrooms.
“The other wards are no better,” he adds.
Syed Ghulam Rajan, a resident of Uch Sharif, says no doctor has visited his daughter, Fatima Bibi, who is admitted at the hospital’s nursery.
“Only the nursing staff sees her” he says. “Even a glucose drip is not available at the hospital,” he adds.
The Medical Superintendent, Muhammad Irshad, says all facilities available at the hospital are being extended to the patients.
He denies the allegations against the administration. “Free medicines are being provided in all hospital wards,” he says.
Young Doctors’ Association Bahawalpur chapter president Dr Nasir Wakeel says 90 per cent of the patients at the Bahawal Victoria Hospital have to buy medicines from pharmacies outside the hospital.
He says the senior doctors do not visit their wards regularly. As a result, the patients suffer.
He says other government hospitals in the province face similar problems.
A fire broke out at the Bahawal Victoria Hospital’s Ward No2 on Friday night. Rescue 1122 officials said the patients and their attendants were timely evacuated and no one was injured in the fire.
They said an electric short circuit in an air conditioning unit had caused the fire. Rescuers said patients and their families had to spend the night outside in the hospital grounds to avoid inhaling smoke.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2013.