DERA GHAZI KHAN: The intensive care unit (ICU) of the Dera Ghazi Khan Teaching Hospital, which is being run by philanthropists as well as the government, has been facing shortage of necessary equipment for a long time.

Sources told Dawn the ICU of the teaching hospital of Ghazi Khan Medical College was established in 2014 by some ambitious doctors of the health facility, led by Dr Ibrar Khosa, with the generous help of philanthropists to provide intensive life care to critical patients who earlier used to be referred to the Nishter Hospital, Multan.

Philanthropists also provided Rs10 million to establish a plant of oxygen in 2014. At present, the system is also providing oxygen to newly-constructed 350-bed wards which do not have their own oxygen plant and fact is being considered a flaw in the plan of newly-established wards, sources alleged.

The Teaching Hospital of Ghazi Khan Medical College has 700 beds. As per the standards of medical treatment, an ICU should be 10 per cent of total bed strength of a health facility. Under that rule, there should be 70 beds at the ICU whereas the ICU of the hospital has only 12 beds.

The ICU is the only facility which caters to patients from Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur and several districts of Balochistan and Sindh.

Due to non-availability of a dialysis machine with a mobile RO plant, the staff faces difficulties in shifting a patient on mobile ventilator from the ICU to the dialysis centre.

A couple of days earlier, the ICU staff shifted a female patient, of Dajil, suffering from cepticsemia, to the dialysis ward without breaking the chain of provision of oxygen and other necessary treatment on a mobile stretcher.

A staffer said they should be appreciated for put in extra efforts to make it possible. The incident underscored the need for the provision of necessary equipments at the ICU.

Despite the shortage of resources, the ICU staff has built trust among the public and it has reduced mortality and referral rates.

Sources told Dawn the provision of a mobile X-Ray unit, a USG machine, a dialysis machine with a mobile RO plant, a mobile ventilator, uninterrupted provision of medicines, reagents, and manpower were the fundamental need of ICU.

Medical Superintendent Dr Shahid denied the non-availability of equipment, including the mobile dialysis machine, at the ICU.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2019