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PESHAWAR: Experts have asked the government to introduce a proper referral system in the healthcare saying this will help doctors concentrate on the treatment of the critically-ill and injured people at tertiary care hospitals of the province.

“We receive 3,000 patients in the emergency department every day but only 32 per cent of them require the immediate treatment, while the rest can be treated at the OPD for normal diseases,” director of the emergency department at the Lady Reading Hospital Dr Hamid Shahzad told a seminar here on Saturday.

The event was organised by the LRH in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross to discuss plans for strengthening health services for the injured, traumatised and critically sick people.

Dr Hamid said his department, the only public sector facility in the country to be recognised by the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan for postgraduate training of doctors in emergency medicines, saved the life of the severely ill and injured people due to highly-specialised services.

Say critically-ill, injured people to benefit if doctors receive patients by referral

“We provide all medicines to and perform surgeries on emergency patients but the people with common problems encroach upon the right of the patients in critical condition,” he said.

The director said the emergency department directed the people suffering from cold to go to the OPD and focused on those with serious problems.

“On average, we spend Rs3,200 on a patient,” he said.

Health secretary Dr Syed Farooq Jamil, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said the proposed health policy had a proper mechanism for referrals to reduce unnecessary patient load on tertiary hospitals.

He appreciated the role of the ICRC for the upgradation of emergency treatment care in the province and asked it to extend cooperation to the district level hospitals to save public life.

“A comprehensive health policy will help improve patient care throughout the province,” he said.

LRH director Dr Khalid Masud said his hospital’s emergency department had highly trained staff members but many of their patients came in from other districts with the diseases, which had treatment in native hospitals.

He said 60 percent of the LRH patients belonged to the districts other than Peshawar and thus, hampering the investigation and treatment of the people requiring specialised care.

Dr Khalid asked the people to follow the government ‘one attendant, one patient’ policy to prevent the unnecessary crowding of the hospital as well as violence and thus, allowing doctors to concentrate on the management of patients.

Head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Peshawar Giovanni Trambaiolo said the organisation wanted to improve emergency treatment of the people and would continue to continue to intervene in conflict-hit areas in collaboration with the government for training, skill development and education of the healthcare providers.

He said the other programmes being carried out by the ICRC at the LRH were about the nursing education, physical rehabilitation and healthcare for the needy patients.

Other speakers included Chiyuki Yoshida, Dr Mohammad Khan, Dr Shah Hussain, Dr Irfanullah, Liaquat Raza, Reto Adrian Stocker, Majid Khan, Sahibzada Waqar, Umar Siab, Faryal Baddia, Shaheen Ghani, Charlotte Kristine, Amad Abdal Qadir and Hasan Al-Mosa.

They highlighted different aspects of the arrangements required at hospitals for the effective patient care.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2018