Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


VIP visits, rush at hospital delay treatment of quake victims

October 27, 2015


An injured man being given first aid at Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar on Monday. — White Star
An injured man being given first aid at Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar on Monday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: The victims of Monday’s earthquake faced unwanted delay in their treatment at the accident and emergency department of Lady Reading Hospital owing to rush of people and visits by VIPs and mediapersons.

LRH, the province’s biggest health facility, received bulk of wounded people after the earthquake. “It has become a common feature now that after natural calamities and bomb blasts the ministers and general public swarm the hospital. It only adds to the trouble of the patients, who require prompt treatment for their rapid recovery,” a senior doctor said.

The hospital received 162 injured people soon after the tremor, he said, adding that the patients could have easily been handled by the highly-trained staff but people were in the habit of visiting the hospital to make the task hard.

The doctor said that patients with minor wounds faced problems as it became difficult for doctors, nurses and paramedics to have free ride at the accident and emergency department, which was jam-packed with people.

Surgeon says they want CM, ministers and politicians to stay away from hospital

He said that their staff with vast experience of coping with critically ill or injured persons was well-prepared for such situations if they were allowed to attend the patients.

“Most of the patients required first aid, which included administration of painkiller injections, stitching and applying bandages on their wounds prior to sending them home or referring to wards for admission,” said the doctor. Some needed X-rays, CT scan and other investigation to determine their surgeries and further line of treatment, he said.

The doctor said that people even entered the operation theatre without caring for sterilisation.

Surprisingly, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, who himself visited LRH, advised the media and general public to stay away from the hospitals and let the doctors treat the patients. The presence of others could pose obstacle in smooth cure of patients, he said.

The district nazim repeated the same words whiling talking to media at LRH.

“We want the chief minister, ministers and politicians to stay away,” a surgeon said. According to him, the administrative officials of the hospital, who are supposed to supervise work of the staff, revert to giving protocols to VIPs.

The accident and emergency department of the hospital remained packed to its capacity, the surgeon said.

Parking of DSNG vans by media groups in front of accident and emergency departments in the hospital is another common site after emergencies and Monday was no exception.

A senior surgeon said that it had become a political point scoring to visit hospitals when the health workers remained busy in attending mass emergencies. It hampered the patients’ treatment adversely, he added.

“Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore didn’t allow any journalist to meet Imran Khan, who was being treated there after a fall during 2013 election campaign, because medical ethics don’t allow it,” said the surgeon.

He said that patients also required urgent transfusion of fluids or blood along with starting life saving procedures before shifting them to wards. “Sometimes nurses refuse to work in presence of irrelevant people accompanying patients. Complaints have been made several times to the administration but the practice continues,” he said.

An office-bearer of the doctors’ association says that many patients develop complications when their treatment process gets delayed. “There is enough quantity of drugs at the accident and emergency department and the staff is supposed to give medical aid to the patients. There is no need of any attendant.

The ultimate sufferers are the patients,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play