Dawn
Dawn

CHINIOT: The burns unit at the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Chiniot was made functional six years after it received machinery and equipment from the Punjab government.

Dawn learnt that the then chief minister Shehbaz Sharif had ordered establishment of the burns units in the DHQ hospitals of all districts in 2017. On his directions, essential machinery and equipment were purchased and sent to hospitals.

The management at the DHQ Hospital Chiniot was directed to make the unit functional and report back to the health department. However, the then management did not pay heed to the directions and its machinery kept rusting for six years. A four-room block, earlier reserved for the burns unit in the hospital, was later converted into the blood bank.

During the past several years, the management ignored the demand of the public to make the burns unit functional as the affectees in burning incidents were referred to hospitals in Faisalabad, delaying treatment and causing casualties. Some years back, a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder in a passenger van blasted, causing critical burns to 22 passengers and driver. An electric transformer burst in which a lawyer was burnt who was shifted to the Allied Hospital Faisalabad where he succumbed to burns. A couple of weeks back, a woman and her two young sons were burnt while manufacturing fireworks in their house. When they were shifted to the DHQ Hospital two victims died while the third one was shifted to Allied Hospital Faisalabad where he also succumbed to burns.

The move made after six-year delay

Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Asif Raza recently paid a detailed visit to the DHQ Hospital and asked Medical Superintendent Dr Ahmad Khan to set up the burns unit.

Dr Khan, who took over the charge of the hospital some months ago, conducted an inquiry into the matter and the space reserved for installing machinery. It was revealed that the machinery was still rusting in the stores and the block reserved for making the burns unit was being used as the blood bank. However, the building of the hospital, which was upgraded from the THQ Hospital to DHQ Hospital in 2009 when Chiniot was given the status of a district, had no spare rooms to establish the burns unit or to shift the blood bank somewhere else.

At this, it was decided that a corner corridor of the first floor would be renovated and redesigned to house the blood bank while the space vacated by it would be used for the burns unit. The unit was made functional within days by using the resources of the hospital and inaugurated by DC Asif Raza.

Speaking about the matter, the DC said the people would not have to go to Faisalabad in case of any incident involving burns. He said he would hold an inquiry into the six years delay in establishment of the burns unit despite the supply of the equipment by the Punjab government.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2023

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