The state-run hospitals here lack basic facilities like medicines and equipments while the doctors prefer their private clinics to the hospitals and the senior doctors visit these hospitals for a limited time thereby increasing the mortality rate at children and gynaecology wards, it is learnt.

The Punjab government spends millions of rupees for the provision of free medication and increases the salaries of doctors and other staff every year, patients said. However, they added, it is not paying attention to the facilities which are not enough considering the population increase and death rate in these hospitals. Now, the claims of providing free medication are limited to only slogans in the political campaigns, they said. In Southern Punjab’s hospitals, the problems due to lack of facilities and medicines and out of order machinery are increasing. Meanwhile, the doctors are taking benefits at their private clinics from the situation, and also receiving attractive packages from the government hospitals. These hospitals have been handed over to the internees, they regretted.

Moreover, illegal blood banks have been established outside the hospital where blood of addicts is easily available while untrained persons have purchased fake certificates and permission certificates. Hundreds of cases have been surfaced showing that various healthy people have become sick as a result of the tests conducted by these laboratories.

The rich are able to get medical treatment in private hospitals while the poor are limited to the government hospitals where they are not treated properly as a number of people die every day due to unavailability of facilities and medicines, the sources said. In absence of the doctors in rural hospitals, the technical staff s is found treating the patients while the machinery for angiography, echo cardiography, dialysis, incubators and ECG machines have been lying out of order.