Lack Of Medical Facilities Presents A ‘Terrible Sight’ At Hospitals In Pakistan

slamabad[Pakistan]: Due to a lack of proper medical facilities and unavailability of beds, the maternity wards of the city’s largest public sector medical institution, PIMS have been crammed with babies with three to four babies kept in each crib making the patients and neonates susceptible to increased risk of infections.

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slamabad[Pakistan]: Due to a lack of proper medical facilities and unavailability of beds, the maternity wards of the city’s largest public sector medical institution, PIMS have been crammed with babies with three to four babies kept in each crib making the patients and neonates susceptible to increased risk of infections.

Saleema Meharban, a private school teacher said she was aghast at what she saw during a recent visit to the Mother-Child Hospital for her first-trimester screening, reported The News International. “It’s a terrible sight. Women were crowded in [maternity ward] beds, two to a bed, while the adjacent labour rooms resounded with screams and moans of women delivering babies in the presence of rude medical attendants, she stated adding that it distressed her, even more, when she found out that all those women were uncovered from the waist down.

“I can’t put up with all that and will prefer going into labour in a private hospital or even at home because that option though a little heavy on my family’s pocket will give me the due pelvic privacy and the new-born a clean, hygienic environment to breathe in,” she said.

“Firstly, our hospital [MCH] hasn’t been expanded since its opening in 1998 with the Japanese funding and secondly, patient arrivals are increasing fast, so we’ve to adjust both mothers and their babies to the limited space available on the premises,” a gynaecologist said on condition of anonymity as she wasn’t authorised to speak to the media.

According to her, the MCH has just 156 beds but has to cater to the influx of obstetric patients from Islamabad as well as Rawalpindi, Murree, Upper Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan reported The News International.

Moreover, the hospital attends to 300 outpatients and handles 23 deliveries, including caesarean sections, daily along with other surgical procedures and has only one operating theatre for laparoscopy and three for elective and emergency cases, and four labour room tables.

“After years of neglect by the successive governments, the MCH is struggling to come up with the goods. Two patients on one bed and three to four new-borns in one crib have become the norm. Things will certainly worsen if its expansion is further delayed, more members of support staff are not hired, and patient arrivals are not regulated,” the doctor said, highlighting the vicious practices of PIMS.

Another doctor called for the early upgrade of the conventional operating theatres into modular ones as well as the installation of a modern sterilisation plant for infection control at the MCH.

When contacted, PIMS Director Dr Khalid Masud insisted that the hospital was striving to improve patient care with the support of the national health services ministry.

“The Japanese aid agency, JICA, which had helped put up MCH and Children’s Hospital at the PIMS, is working on the expansion of both facilities. Hopefully, the MCH’s bed strength will go up by 50 per cent in two years, but I still say it will be too little given the growing patient loads. We need another 300-bed medical building to do what is expected of us,” he said. 

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