Poverty stricken people in Pakistan who cannot afford to pay private hospitals bill opt for government hospitals for their treatment but the condition in most of the government-run hospitals is very much miserable which in turn highly affects lower and middle class population’s health with an unhealthy and unsafe atmosphere.
Insects roaming inside the hospitals and animals like cats and dogs have all access with filthy sewerage system and old and dirty bed and sheets are the routine practice at our government hospitals. The OPD (out-patient department) is crowded. Thousands of patients go there daily but there aren’t enough doctors. Wards have no proper equipment and accessories. In some of the other wards; it is hot and humid atmosphere during the summers making condition of already ill patients even worse.
Doctors don’t give any proper attention to patients due to population increase. They do not provide attention to their patients. These hospitals are overcrowded, therefore it was unable to facilitate properly. The pay of the doctors is very low; therefore there is lack of interest to their patients. Some of the doctors have the tendency in running their own private clinics rather than attend to the government hospitals they are employed at.
Another serious issue is the use of fake medicines. In Pakistan, many people die because of these fake medicine, and most of them suffer from heart problems. The government must establish some proper institutions and make special teams whose only responsibility will be to check and apprehend all the people who are involved in the business of fake medicines.
In addition, the government should arrange long-lasting equipment for the doctors in these hospitals to facilitate them. Government hospitals are not provided clean water. Most of the patients in government hospitals are staying in unhygienic condition and are not able to recover properly.
Impolite behavior of staff and unhygienic conditions are still the practice in government-run hospitals. The pathetic conditions at the hospitals and conduct of the doctors and para-medical staff, add up to the patients’ woes. Two patients are most often forced to share a single bed in the ward while the washrooms are full of filth.
The condition of two major government hospitals of the federal capital is not that much different and patients here also suffer the same plight. It is really a bitter experience to stay in a government hospital due to inadequate facilities and behaviour of staff.
In interior Sindh, the district headquarters hospitals lack pathologists, urologists, radiologists, orthopedic surgeons, eye and ENT specialists, senior physicians, general surgeons and state of the art facilities for the poor patients. These hospitals, however, work round the clock and a huge number of patients visited daily but patients do not get adequate treatment because of a dearth of specialists and basic medicines.
About 90 per cent of admitted and emergency patients are referred to the public and private hospitals in Karachi, where, to secure life of their dear ones, people have to bear costly treatment.
Sindh government is running the teaching hospitals of Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur and Nawabshah. Their performance is not satisfactory to cater to healthcare needs of patients. The crucial reason behind the poor state of affairs in both teaching and district headquarter hospitals is mismanagement, apathy, corruption and political interference in appointments, transfers and postings of doctors and paramedical staff.
Sindh is still backward with the rest of the country in health indicators. According to an analysis carried out by the health department for the newly launched Sindh Health Sector Strategy (2012-2020), detection of tuberculosis has reached 59 per cent.
The existence of Hepatitis B and C is a major concern. Children and women experience highest rate of undernourishment, in the province.
Frighteningly 40 percent children and 62 percent mothers are undernourished. As a result, 73 percent children are anemic and only 27 percent childbirths occur in proper health facilities.
Extension and reconstruction of Federal Government Polyclinic has also been planned and additional 2.54 acres of land has been allocated in the adjacent Argentine Park for this purpose.
Though the government is trying to improve the health and nutrition status of the country through promotional, preventive and rural services, but a lot more was needed to provide quality health services to masses which perhaps need some aggressive steps.
Blaming the doctors is not a solution to the problems. Blame-game never yields solutions. Education, poverty and health are the mighty problems being faced by Pakistan; it is necessarily required to concentrate more on the health sector.
In this regard, government should help complete projects such as Surgical Tower, Mayo Hospital, Jubilee Town Project of Dentistry Hospital, Neuro-surgery Tower, and make them functional as early as possible. In addition, new hospitals should also be opened or the old hospitals should further be expanded.
OPDs should be open 24 hours, so that emergency wards may not be overburdened. For this purpose, the overall structure of primary, secondary and tertiary care should be upgraded and new doctors and nurses should be hired.
Pakistan is the fourth largest country to provide doctors to the US. Similarly, due to fewer seats, doctors are migrating to other countries as well. The number of seats must be increased to improve the system of healthcare and tackle the issue of brain-drain.
There should be a properly defined service structure for the doctors; so that they may not face any uncertainty and discouragement.
The number of machines should be increased on an urgent basis. Quality medicines and more beds are also essentially needed.