Ailing Nawaz rushed to hospital for check-up

Updated October 22, 2019

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LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif being taken to the Services Hospital on Monday night.—White Star
LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif being taken to the Services Hospital on Monday night.—White Star

LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was shifted to Services Hospital late on Monday night after his condition deteriorated which was confirmed by his fresh examination conducted by the government.

The National Accounta­bility Bureau, Lahore, took the decision to shift him to hospital for a medical check-up in light of his fresh reports. “For the medical check-up of Nawaz Sharif, NAB is shifting him to the Services Hospital,” a bureau’s spokesman said, adding doctors would decide about his admission (to the hospital).

Dr Adnan Khan, a personal physician of Mr Sharif, earlier in the evening raised an alarm about his deteriorating health, urging the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government to immediately shift him to hospital for treatment.

“Former PM #NawazSharif is detected to have critically low Platelet Count (16*10^9/L) that could be due to multiple pathologies & requires immediate in-hospital care. I have requested the authorities concerned to act in urgency,” Dr Adnan Khan tweeted after seeing the PML-N supremo at NAB’s Thokar Niaz Baig office.

“Today met former PM #NawazSharif for consultation & evaluation. He’s visibly unwell & has multiple serious life-threatening health issues of acute nature. I have recommended immediate hospitalisation for workup & treatment. The matter is of utmost urgency,” Dr Khan said.

A good number of workers gathered outside the NAB office late Monday evening and demanded that the authorities concerned shift their leader to hospital. They also chanted slogans in favour of Mr Sharif and placed burning tyres on a road. Some PML-N workers issued a video message to supporters to reach the NAB office to express solidarity with their leader. The bureau had to call in police to control the situation.

Following Dr Adnan’s caution, PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif also issued a statement, demanding the Punjab government shift his brother to hospital without further delay. “The medical reports of Nawaz Sharif by the government show that his condition is very serious. It is a callous attitude of the PTI government that despite his worsening health condition he is not being shifted to hospital,” Mr Shahbaz said, warning the prime minister of consequences if anything happened to the supreme leader of the main opposition party. “Imran Khan Niazi will be responsible if anything happens to Nawaz Sharif,” he declared.

The PML-N president said not following the jail manual was a “political revenge of Niazi” and such action might drive the country towards anarchy.

Party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said fresh medical reports showed that the party leader’s condition was ‘very serious’ and required immediate hospitalisation. “By depriving Nawaz Sharif of medical treatment, Imran Khan cannot hide his incompetence and lies,” she said.

The former premier had been shifted from Kot Lakhpat jail (where he is serving seven-year imprisonment in Al-Azizia case) to NAB’s Lahore building following his arrest in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. The bureau has obtained his physical remand till Oct 25.

Just a couple of month ago, the two government hospitals had denied a specialised cardiac ambulance facility for emergency medical cover to the ex-PM in the jail.

The Punjab prisons department had requested the health higher-ups to provide a fully-equipped ambulance to station it in the jail to shift him to any hospital in case of any emergency, but it was denied. The request was submitted on finding that the ambulance made available in the jail was not well equipped.

A specialised cardiac ambulance is equipped with a defibrillator, cardiac monitor, ventilator and ECG machine. A defibrillator helps save life by giving a high-energy electric shock to the heart of a patient in case of cardiac arrest.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2019