IT was mid-afternoon when my cousin complained of chest pain recently. We immediately rushed him to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) in Larkana. On arriving there, the staff asked us to wait till the blood pressure checking apparatus was available.
We became part of a queue of patients who were in serious condition, but were asked to wait, for the said apparatus was being used somewhere else.
On inquiry, I came to know that there were only two machines for checking blood pressure: one in the male section, and the other in the female section. This was, and is, a depressing piece of information.
I felt sorry for the patients who were there in serious condition but had to wait for 30-40 minutes just to get their blood pressure checked. I also felt a surge of anger and downright hatred for those who seek votes from the people, but forget them right after an election. They do not bother to provide basic healthcare facilities even to such a vital cardiac facility.
My cousin was losing consciousness, but we seemed to be in luck as just then the apparatus finally became available. After getting his blood pressure checked, the staff sent us to the electrocardiogram (ECG) section where we were subjected to another waiting period as there was only one ECG machine.
Emergency wards are sensitive and critical area of any hospital and need to be well-equipped. What is a cardiac hospital that has merely two blood pressure monitors and one ECG machine?
Abdul Wasio Abbasi
Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2023