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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) was surprised to know on Monday that the oldest hospital in the city, Polyclinic, uses outdated methods of sterilising instruments used in operations.

“The outdateds method can spread hepatitis, you are spreading hepatitis,” committee chairman Dr Ashok Kumar said. He directed the hospital administration to purchase the latest auto system for sterilising instruments.

The hospital administration said the hospital, established in 1966, is facing a lot of problems and is unable to provide the best medical treatment to patients due to shortage of space.

Officials of the hospital said they have been making every effort to get land for the hospital extension and that they are unable to start the extension project due to a stay order.

During the meeting, hospital representatives said the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had allotted the hospital land in the adjoining Argentina Park for extending the hospital but a citizen had challenged the CDA decision and filed a case in the Islamabad High Court, which granted a stay order.

Hospital admin claims it is facing problems in providing proper treatment due to restricted space

Polyclinic Executive Director Dr Shahid told the committee that the hospital administration has been waiting for an early decision from the court for many months now.

Accepting the hospital administration’s plea regarding the shortage of space, the committee said it will recommend the court for an early court decision.

However, the committee said the hospital’s performance within the available space is also not up to mark and directed the hospital administration to ensure better health facilities for all patients.

The committee was surprised to know the administration had been conducting 23 operations every day and said this was a very high number.

A representative of the hospital said the facility receives around 7,000 to 9,000 patients in the outpatient department and that it provides medical care to 1,000 patients every day in the emergency department.

The committee was also told that the hospital has been facing shortage of staff as there are 147 sanctioned posts for specialists while it has only 45, and of the 309 sanctioned posts for medical officers, only 256 are filled.

The hospital’s executive director said the majority of vacant positions will be filled soon as the process is underway.

The committee took notice of the issue of the emergency department being on the other side of the road and said this is very inconvenient and strange that serious patients have to be transferred to wards during harsh weather- during rain and hot summer days.

The committee directed the hospital administration to resolve this issue either by moving the emergency ward or arranging shade.

Senator Kalsoom Parveen raised the issue of the alleged use of sub-standard medicines being provided by private contractors which Dr Shahid rejected. The hospital was directed to furnish the tenders for purchasing medicines during the last three years.

Legislative bills

The committee discussed two legislative bills, one related to the Islamabad Gun and Country Club moved by Senator Azam Khan Swati and a real estate bill moved by Senator Mohsin Aziz, but did not pass either.

The committee was informed that on Supreme Court directives, the administrative control of the club has recently been taken from CADD and handed over to the Pakistan Sports Board and the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination.

The mover of the real estate bill said the establishment of a real estate authority was imperative to protect the rights of those allotted plots. He said residents of the federal capital have suffered from scams by property mafia who do not provide them plots in housing societies etc. even after receiving full payment.

The bill was deferred as the committee wanted input from other stakeholders such as the Islamabad Capital Territory administration and the law ministry.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2018