RECENTLY, I went to the nearby town hospital for a checkup. Much to my surprise, the health facility looked less like a hospital and more like a garbage dump. And the ambience was not misleading at all; it was in fact a garbage dump which was only going through the motions of providing healthcare without actually providing anything remotely close to health services.

Patients were being charged between Rs800 and Rs1,500 for a five-minute examination which also failed professional standards at many levels. A large number of people from villages and remote areas were present at the hospital, sitting in brutal heat without even a fan since there was no electricity or a backup power system.

In contrast, the doctors at the same hospital sat in their air-conditioned, pompous rooms and talked down to hapless patients without an iota of empathy. It is so unfortunate that the revered profession of healing patients has also become marred by corruption and duplicity.

Doctors no longer consider patients their first priority; money is the lone priority. They freely deal with pharmaceutical representatives and get personal incentives for prescribing poor patients medicines that they can’t afford.

Government hospitals are also marred by administrative corruption, often resulting in the provision of expired medicines to patients who are usually illiterate. This is one of the key reasons that drives the poor and the uneducated to quacks even at the risk of their health and lives.

Such state of affairs is extremely unfortunate, especially considering the respect the doctors have in society. Such doctors and quacks who put the health and livese of their patients at risk for financial gains should be punished by the authorities.

Tajdar Munir
Shahdadkot

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2022

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