KARACHI: As the doctors at the children hospital fume over Sharmila Farooqi’s behaviour during her visit on Sunday, the Sindh lawmaker denied she asked patients to misbehave with the staff.
During a visit to National Institute of Child Health (NICH) where the victims from the Lyari blast are under treatment, Farooqi claimed she received complaints that the staff members were treating the patients in an “inhumane” manner.
“I can understand that the public sector hospital may have issues with resources but they have to deal with the patients with care,” Farooqi told The Express Tribune. “Common people expect that public representatives could do something for them. I asked the staff and the administration to perform their duties well.”
Meanwhile, an attending physician at the hospital insisted that she witnessed Farooqi telling the patients to slap the doctors if they don’t treat them properly. Other staff members also complained that the lawmaker misbehaved with them. “Why does she only care about her own patients? Why not other poor patients?” asked a staff member, who was reluctant to share her name. “They [the lawmakers] should provide us everything we need in the hospital and then make demands.”
Lyari blast victims
Jalal Khan, 11, and Muhammad Anas, 12 - both of whom were injured in the Lyari blast outside the football stadium - are currently under treatment at NICH. Their attendants complained, however, that the facility is not providing medicines. “We are purchasing medicines from private stores,” said one attendant, clarifying that the rest of the treatment is free of charge.
Meanwhile, the Sindh government had directed the health department to shift the children to Aga Khan Hospital but they have yet to be shifted due to some financial matters. “We were told that both the boys will be shifted to AKU but the hospital management refused to admit them,” said Anas’ mother Rahiman. “They are not accepting the government’s request due to past dues so we are stuck between two hospitals,” confirmed Jalal’s attendant.
The health department deputy secretary, Nadeem Shaikh, admitted that they have some dues pending at AKU. “They would be cleared soon,” he promised. “It is a routine matter and the government always clears its dues.”
Farooqi also confirmed to The Express Tribune that there are some dues and that she has taken the case up with the higher authorities. “The issue will be resolved soon and both the kids will be given proper treatment.”
Rahiman is, however, reluctant to leave NICH until all the arrangements at AKU are completed. She insisted that the doctors at NICH are doing whatever they can do. “It is the government’s responsibility to make the system correct,” she said.
Lyari MPAs, Sania Naz and Javed Nagori, also visited the blast victims on the fourth day after the incident but their visit failed to impress the families of the survivors. “Three MPAs visited but not a single one offered Eidi to our kids,” the attendant complained.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2013.
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