A mob ransacked the offices and emergency ward at the Chandka Medical College Hospital, Larkana, after a patient died due to alleged negligence on the part of the medical staff.
The patient, 23-year-old Tasleem Khatoon, a resident of Qambar Shahbaz Goth, had been brought to the emergency ward after developing symptoms of food poisoning. The patient’s relative, Abdullah Leghari, claimed the doctors did not start treatment despite fervent calls for attention by her attendants.
As a result of the delay in treatment, the patient passed away. Following her death, the four attendants who had brought her to the hospital started protesting, causing damage to the furniture and infrastructure at the emergency ward. When news of her death reached her village, 20 more people arrived at the hospital and started vandalising the infrastructure.
When the Civil Lines police were alerted to the incident, around eight to 10 personnel were dispatched to control the situation. They were, however, unable to calm down the protesters. Subsequently, a larger contingent of law enforcers was called in, who managed to bring the situation under control after some of the protesters were detained.
The hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Safiullah Abbasi, when contacted, said that he was out of the city when the incident occurred. He lamented, however, the almost non-existent security at the hospital, due to which such incidents occurred regularly. Dr Abbasi claimed that patients were often brought to the facility in a very serious condition and their families started attacking the doctors and paramedical staff when the patient passed away. He demanded better security for the hospital staff so that such incidents could be avoided in the future.
Meanwhile, the protesters demanded that action be taken against the doctors for their negligence on duty.
Such incidents have become a regular occurrence at the facility. Residents claim that the doctors deployed at the facility are mostly absent or are negligent with regards to their patients even while they are on duty.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2014.