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MINGORA: Despite tall claims of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government to provide health facilities to the people on their doorstep, the Saidu Teaching Hospital (STH), the largest health facility in Malakand division, lacks treatment facilities causing hardships for the patients.

According to residents and patients, apart from unavailability of medicines the MRI and CT scan machines were out of order for the last seven months, forcing the poor patients to go to private labs for such tests by spending a big amount of money.

“I took my mother to STH where the doctors suggested MRI and CT scan tests, but when I went to the MRI and CT scan unit the officials told me that both the machines were out of order.

I went outside the hospital to a private laboratory and got both the tests conducted by paying Rs9,000,” said Anwar Anjum, a resident of Bishbanr village.

He said that he had to borrow money for the MRI and CT scan as he had no enough money for that. Bahra Mand, a resident of Shangla who brought his wife to STH, said that he was disappointed with the PTI government and its claim of ‘Naya Pakistan’ because nothing was available in the hospital.

“I visited a private laboratory for CT scan because the hospital’s machine was said to be defective.

“Moreover, I bought every medicine from outside,” he told this scribe, adding that during the night no doctor or senior staff was available except trainees.

The patients said that it was only a hospital by name and no facility was provided to them.

“The PTI government and its workers do not get tired of tall claims on social media of bringing change in every field and making ‘Naya Pakistan’, but on the ground they have completely failed in providing basic facilities to general public,” said Iftikhar Ali, a resident of Saidu Sharif.

Arafat Bibi, a poor woman who had come from Kabal for her treatment, said she was going back home without treatment because she had no money for MRI scan in private laboratory.

When contacted, STH medical superintendent Dr Saadullah Khan said that due to shortage of helium gas the MRI machine was non-functional. “We have ordered helium gas from UAE and as soon as it arrives our MRI machine will become functional,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019