THREE newborn babies have died in Ganga Ram Hospital, Lahore, seemingly because of the staff's negligence. The incident not only sends a shiver down one's spine but also points to the general atmosphere of the absence of rule of law plaguing our society. The parents lay the blame on hospital authorities saying that the doctors were not available and there was no one else among the staff competent enough to take care of the infants. The Medical Superintendent has rejected the charge but still has not come up with a satisfactory explanation. Incidents of the sort keep on happening from time to time and are a poor reflection on the state of government hospitals. A few months back the case of a baby's disappearance from a hospital had shocked the public. Besides, there is a general feeling that doctors behave indifferently underlining their lack of professionalism and depriving the patients of proper treatment. Getting help for a specialist is even more difficult for the ordinary patients. Anyone who has been to a state-run hospital can testify to that. A major part of the doctors' time is consumed by attending to their private clinics, which tends to have a bad effect on their professional duty. Absence of modern equipment, poor coordination and shortage of staff are some of the other evils, which afflict this vital social sector in our country. Facing these odds, the rich classes turn to private hospitals. But the ordinary public cannot possibly think of approaching them for fear of high cost of treatment. No matter who was responsible, the tragic incident in Ganga Ram has brought out the need for urgent reform in the system. For all the difficulties and expenses involved, one wishes Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who has vowed to provide inexpensive medical facilities to all, Godspeed. it is hoped that the deaths of infants would serve as a warning to hospital authorities to remove the shortcoming in their system so that such incidents do not recur.