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Country heading for another disaster: Insufficient health care, cold weather

Published Nov 07, 2005 12:00am

ISLAMABAD, Nov 6: The country is heading for another disaster, as hundreds of amputees and critically injured quake victims are vulnerable to death not only in Azad Kashmir but also in the hospitals of Rawalpindi and Islamabad due to harsh weather and lack of health care facilities, some of the doctors engaged in relief operations have feared.

According to the official reports, more than 200 injured people have already died in the hospitals.

Doctors said most of the hospitals in Rawalpindi and Islamabad had already become overcrowded, while hundreds of patients along with their attendants were coming in Islamabad and Rawalpindi everyday. They suggested establishment of more hospitals in the twin cities.

“Unfortunately, the government is not realising the gravity of the situation when thousands of people will leave Kashmir due to extremely cold weather and rush towards the hospitals of Rawalpindi and Islamabad,” they said.

Doctors said hundreds of amputees and injured people admitted in the tented hospitals would not survive if properly equipped hospitals were not set up for them on a war footing.

“You can’t treat an amputee with a plastered leg in the tented hospitals because they cannot be provided with proper medical treatment and the weather in Islamabad, which is getting colder day by day, might cause an increase in mortality rate,” they feared. “In these circumstances, the government should either hire more buildings or get some school buildings to properly treat the injured. If such steps were not immediately taken, the nation will be heading for another catastrophe,” they suggested.

The doctors said the condition of hospitals and tented medical camps in Rawalpindi and Islamabad was unsatisfactory resulting in the spread of skin diseases and bone-infections.

“Though the managements of all the hospitals are trying hard to provide the best possible treatment to the injured, due to extraordinary rush, the hospitals’ environment is getting unhygienic. One can smell a stink on entering an overcrowded hospital,” the doctors observed.