Public hospitals are places where people who cannot afford the sky-high fees of private hospitals come to find remedies for their ailments. However, looking at the poor sanitation and hygiene facilities, it appears that these hospitals have rather turned into grounds of nourishment for viruses and bacteria. They are actually the prime source of epidemics and endemics. The wards are inhabited by cats, the floors are painted with sputum and the operation theatres are in such a dilapidated state and so poorly-equipped that one wonders why performing operations in such conditions has not been declared illegal yet. Through your newspaper, I request the concerned authorities to take immediate notice of these problems and try to rectify them. The government should also increase the budget for hospitals rather than pass bills in the provincial assemblies every other day to increase salaries of the MPAs. -UROOBA ALAM, Karachi, via e-mail, May 21.