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Hospital patients wish to be with family

August 19, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Aug 19: To get a bed for patients at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) during normal days is next to impossible but on Eid, the situation is quite different.

One can easily get a bed as most patients who are admitted there leave the hospital to celebrate Eid with their families.

For Sarfraz Mughal, a resident of Chakwal, it took him a week to get a bed for his aunt in the medical ward of Pims. But on Sunday she disappeared from the hospital. After four hours of search, he was informed by his family members that his aunt had reached the village as she wanted to celebrate Eid with her family.

Sarfraz said just over a week ago he brought his aunt in Islamabad. Doctors suggested that she be admitted but officials of the medical ward told him that there was no bed vacant. However, fortunately a patient got discharged and Sarfraz’s aunt finally managed to get a bed.

“On Sunday around 10am I came to know that my aunt was not in her bed. I waited for a while thinking she might have gone to the bathroom but when she did not return, I checked the ward and the lobby. I also asked the staff but they were not aware of her,” he said.

“Then I thought that the doctors might have discharged her and I went to the counter and asked the duty officer. He checked the register and said according to the record my aunt should be in her ward,” he added.

“I contacted my family members in the village and told them about the incident,” Sarfraz said, adding that “At 3pm I was informed by my family that my aunt had reached the village, claiming she had been discharged by the doctors. I talked to her and finally she came out clean. She had decided to go to the village as she wanted to spend Eid with her family.”

Sarfraz is not the only one who had faced such a situation. On Sunday dozens of patients, who were admitted to different hospitals of the federal capital, decided to leave the hospitals and celebrate Eid with family members. Some of them informed the management through writing, others verbally and some just slipped out without informing the doctors.

A doctor at Pims said they came to the hospital even during Eid days so that the treatment of patients did not suffer but the patients themselves were more interested in celebrating Eid at home rather than stay in the hospital and continue with their treatment.

“We usually discharge patients before Eid who were not serious, but those with complications cannot be allowed to leave and we tell them that they could not be discharged,” he said.

Joint Executive Director (JED) of Pims Dr Amjad, while talking to Dawn, said it had become a routine that on the occasion of Eid, patients did not want to stay in the hospital.

“If a patient insists that he be discharged, we tell them to give in writing that he wants to leave of his own will. Patients think that if they leave after giving a written application they might not be admitted again in the hospital, so they disappear. We cannot stop them from leaving. We can just advise them to stay in hospitals for the treatment which is in their own benefit,” he said.