Medicine shortage in Rawalpindi hospitals decried

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD – The patients of three allied hospitals of Rawalpindi, Benazir Bhutto Hospital, District Headquarters Hospital and Holy Family Hospital, are facing an acute shortage of medicine, as provision of free medicines to them is near to nil.
According to sources, the hospitals are working under the Health Department and Allied Hospitals and Rawalpindi Medical College Authority. Patients in Emergency and Intensive Care Units (ICUs) of the hospitals were provided the medicine to relatively a greater extent, but the persons admitted in the hospitals and visiting the OPDs could not get medicines, the sources said.
Moreover, the procedure of the demand of and supply of the medicines to the hospitals has also been changed: earlier the MSs of each hospital used to send the supply order but now the principal of the Allied Hospitals and Rawalpindi Medical College sent the supply order under the policy of centralisation, the sources said.
According to the Punjab Health Department policy says that medicines would be provided to all the patients coming to the hospitals, but that is not going on in practical. The hospital administrations say that scarcity of the funds was the reason behind non-provision of sufficient medicines to the patients.
The source revealed that the medicines prescribed by the doctors were not provided on the dispensaries of the hospitals and if one found some, those were the alternative of the prescribed medicines.
The patients and their attendants at the three allied hospitals expressed serious concerns on the prevailing situation in the hospitals and demanded of the Punjab Health officials and Principal Allied Hospitals and Rawalpindi Medical College to take practical steps to save them of the nuisance.
Meanwhile, the expansion project of Federal Government Services Hospital (Polyclinic Hospital) was in doldrums as demand notice of Rs55 million could not be released for the initiation of the project.
Under the expansion project, a five-storey medical tower with capacity of 1100 beds was to be constructed in Argentina Park situated next to the Polyclinic Hospital. The project was also to have neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, plastic surgery, MRI and state-of-the-art operation theatres facilities.  
Argentina government has gifted the land of the park for the expansion project of Polyclinic Hospital. In addition, it assured technical training to medical staff but despite directives of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf funds could not be arranged and delay may cause cancellation of allotment of the project.
On the other hand, Argentina ambassador to Pakistan, J Martin has repeatedly offered complete cooperation to Polyclinic Hospital administration but the project of public importance lingers on due to unknown reasons.

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