Drugs shortage: At PIMS, patients fight for life waiting for medicines

Depleted stock a hurdle in providing treatment.

Our Correspondent October 27, 2013
Depleted stock a hurdle in providing treatment. PHOTO: FILE


Acute shortage of life-saving drugs and equipment at the capital’s largest referral hospital is threatening the lives of the very patients who are already finding it hard to cling to them.

For a month now, essential drugs required at the intensive care unit, emergency ward and other departments of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) are unavailable according to an official requesting anonymity.

He said the drugs that are out of stock includes Epinephrine, Phenylephrine , some essential antibiotics  like Colistin, Vancomycin, Meropenem, Imipenem, Piperacillin and Tazobactam, anti-epileptic and anti-arrhythmic medicines.

Dialysis cathetres, ambo bags and arterial lines, an ample stock of which are required around the clock, are also missing. “Most of the time it becomes very difficult to save a life of a critical patient because of the unavailability of these medicines,” said a senior doctor at the medical ICU who wished to remain anonymous.

The doctor added that each moment a patient fights for life is critically important but at Pims most of their time is wasted waiting for the attendant to get medicines from a nearby pharmacy.

“Sometimes to control a patient suffering from seizures, the doctors are forced to tie their hands and legs with a bandage till an attendant is back with the drugs that should have been present at the hospital in the first place,” he said.

According to the doctor, most of the patients at Pims from out of town so it is difficult for those who accompany them to locate a pharmacy resulting in delays that cause panic among doctors and relatives.

Most people who visit public hospitals cannot even afford medicines which should be provided free of cost by the hospital, he added.

When contacted, Dr Ayesha Eshani, spokesperson for Pims said, “There is no shortage of drugs at Pims and all essential medicines are available free of cost to patients round the clock.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2013.


LightBulb | 8 years ago | Reply

It's high time.Government must privatize the Health care. The need is to introduce the concept of Medical insurance.The one who can afford must get/buy it via their insurance policy.When there will be funds allocated via that insurance money Meds will be available for treatment.The VIPs can pay more for their VIP treatment/care.The extras/profits can be allocated towards the poor and the jobless people like me and the medical research.

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