A woman in Raiwind gave birth outside the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital (THQ), Raiwind early Monday morning after staff at the hospital refused to treat her.
Initial investigation conducted by the hospital suggests that a lady health worker refused Sameera Bibi — who was experiencing severe labour pains — any medical help because "there were no doctors available at the hospital in the early hours of the morning."
Bystanders at the scene told DawnNews that no Rescue 1122 ambulances were available at the hospital, and one had to be called to the scene. By the time it arrived, however, the child had already been born.
When contacted, Punjab Minister for Health Khawaja Imran Nazir told DawnNews that the provincial ministry had ordered an inquiry into the matter.
"No doctor or staff member involved in the incident will be spared and a committee has been formed to look into this matter," Nazir said.
"All gynaecology-related facilities are available at THQ Raiwind," Secretary Health Ali Jan Khan told DawnNews while reiterating that a committee had been formed to probe the matter.
According to sources within the hospital, the inquiry team created by the provincial government has reached the THQ and an investigation into the matter is underway.
"The child and the woman are both safe, and the hospital is also conducting an inquiry into the matter," said THQ Medical Superintendent Doctor Amir.
The hospital is just miles away from ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif's Jati Umra residence in Raiwind.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Secretary General Jahangir Tareen lashed out on the PML-N and the Punjab government while condemning the incident.
"The birth of a child on the road outside THQ Riwind is condemnable," he said while adding that Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif should be ashamed that such an incident occurred in his region.
Earlier this year, on January 1, Zohra Bibi, 60, of Tibbi Kambovan, lost her life on the floor of Jinnah Hospital in Lahore because there were no beds available at the medical facility.
Investigation into the case had revealed that the woman, who was experiencing severe pain, also visited DHQ Kasur and was refused treatment there, before visiting the Lahore hospital.