Heart wrenching news surfaced from provincial capital Lahore recently that a female patient died on the floor at Jinnah Hospital, as hospital could not even provide a bed for the ailing woman. According to hospital sources, 60 years old Zahra Bibi hailing from Kasur checked into the hospital for a disease related to her lungs. But according to reports she was not provided with a bed by administration and was being provided intravenous therapy on the floor, when she succumbed to her disease and died. Relative of the old woman disclosed that the medics at the Services Hospital examined Zahra on a stretcher near the entrance to the medical emergency ward and referred her to Jinnah Hospital on account of unavailability of any bed. After reaching Jinnah Hospital she was referred to Medical Unit but she was told that no bed was available and after waiting for three hours she breathed her last.
The ncident has exposed the hollow claims of Punjab government for bringing revolutionary measures in providing healthcare facilities to the masses. Just imagine if this is the state of affairs of hospitals in Lahore, what facilities are being provided to the people of smaller cities and towns. It is so painful to know that she went to several hospitals, one after another, but did not receive care she deserved. It shows the harsh reality of our society that only wealthy, who can afford their medical treatment, can avail better healthcare facilities from private hospitals. While others will keep suffering from poorly resourced state services. Had she gone to a private hospital, with better facilities, her life could have been prolonged if not saved.
Another viral video on social media is reflecting abysmal condition of hospitals. It shows that in Lahore’s Children Hospital due to shortage of beds, three to four children are being treated on the same bed.
One of the main reasons behind dismal healthcare facilities of the services hospitals is the lack of funds. The government needs to focus more on healthcare facilities instead of focussing only on roads, bridges and other similar infrastructure projects.
It is a fact that with growing population we need more hospitals with better facilities. But ironically, it seems, it is not on the priority list of government and poor planning, budgetary utilization remains a seious problem. Even in Lahore, no public hospital has emergency resources sufficient for the needs of the growing population. All hospitals are under resourced for years, more funds required to improve facilities for the ever growing populations.
When the situation in hospitals of Lahore is so serious one shudders at the thought of situaiton in other parts of Punjab. It is a fact that patients from even South Punjab travel hundreds of kilometers to receive treatment in the hospitals of Lahore and are often left perplexed as even the capital of Punjab fails to provide them with adequate health facilities.
We hope that the current incident will swing the government into action and serious steps will be taken to imrpove the healthcare facilities in Lahore and rest of the province.
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