OPD ceiling caves in at Benazir Bhutto Hospital two months after repairs

Published June 25, 2024
The damaged false ceiling seen lying on the floor at the OPD of Benazir Bhutto Hospital. — Dawn
The damaged false ceiling seen lying on the floor at the OPD of Benazir Bhutto Hospital. — Dawn

RAWALPINDI: A portion of a false ceiling in one of the corridors in the outdoor patients department (OPD) of Benazir Bhutto Hospital in Rawalpindi caved in on Sunday merely two months after it was installed under a renovations project which had cost Rs120 million. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the incident since the OPD was closed due to the holiday. The administration closed the corridor, however, on Monday to prevent any mishap.

“The incident took place at 10:30am when the hospital’s corridor was vacant due to weekly off. There are three corridors in the OPD department and the incident happened in one corridor,” said BBH Medical Superintendent Dr Tahir Rizvi while talking to Dawn. He said that after the incident, they had written a letter to the Punjab building department on Sunday asking them to hold an inquiry into the incident within 24 hours.

In light of the incident, Punjab Minister for Communications and Works Malik Sohaib Ahmed visited the hospital and asked the officials concerned to repair the ceiling immediately. “Strict action will be taken against those responsible,” the minister assured.

Questions raised on quality of work; minister vows to fix responsibility

According to Dr Rizvi, “The initial inquiry suggested that the false ceiling was connected with ‘plastic wires’ and the building department claimed that due to hot weather, the plastic melted and the ceiling fell,” he said.

It may be mentioned that the OPD and psychology department at the BBH were renovated during the tenure of the caretaker government in October 2023. The deadline for the project which had cost Rs280 million was January but it was wrapped up in April. The first floor of the hospital’s OPD and the ground floor of the psychology department were renovated by the Punjab building department under the supervision of the divisional administration.

Speaking about the quality of the work, a senior hospital official said the recent incident raised a question mark on the renovations. The official added that it was the duty of the district administration to oversee the quality of the construction material used in the renovation work. The official alleged that the caretaker government was “in a hurry to affix their nameplates” on these projects.

“It is the first time in history, the former caretaker government launched development projects which were not its mandate but it launched three main projects in hospitals of the garrison city,” the official claimed, adding that Holy Family Hospital – which also underwent renovations during the caretaker regime – is still not operational except for the gynaecology department. He said that the government should take notice of the incident and inspect the quality of construction materials and work in BBH and Holy Family Hospital to avoid another incident.

Meanwhile, on the directions of Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz, Minister for Communications and Works Malik Sohaib Ahmed reached the hospital to review the ongoing development work at Benazir Bhutto Hospital Rawalpindi. He also reviewed the ongoing development and renovations in the hospital.

Speaking on this occasion, the minister said that he visited Benazir Bhutto Hospital on the order of Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz to review the ongoing development work in the hospital, including the caved-in OPD ceiling. He said that the ongoing development work in the hospital would be completed within the deadline.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Afghan challenge
Updated 15 Jul, 2024

Afghan challenge

Foreign states must emphasise to the Afghan Taliban diplomatic recognition and trade relations all depend on greater counterterrorism efforts.
‘Complete’ justice
15 Jul, 2024

‘Complete’ justice

NOW that the matter of PTI’s reserved seats stands resolved, there are several equally pressing issues pertaining...
Drug fog
15 Jul, 2024

Drug fog

THE country has an old drug problem. While the menace has raged across divides of class and gender, successive ...
Miles to go
Updated 14 Jul, 2024

Miles to go

Some reforms agreed with the Fund are going to seriously impact economic growth and fresh investments, at least in the short term.
Iddat ruling
14 Jul, 2024

Iddat ruling

IT was a needless, despicable spectacle which only ended up uniting both conservatives and progressives in ...
Cricket shake-up
14 Jul, 2024

Cricket shake-up

SOMEONE had to take the blame and bear the brunt of the fallout from Pakistan’s disastrous showing at the T20 ...