MULTAN - The number of surgeries being conducted at Nishtar Hospital plummeted to half as the Anaesthesia Department of the hospital refused to send doctors to the operation theatres under the pretext of shortage of medical officers, sources disclosed on Monday.

The number of patients waiting for their turn for surgery was already very long while the decision taken by the Anaesthesia Department added to their woes, causing further delay in the scheduled operations.

At least two operation tables were being used in each operation theatre of General Surgery, Urology, Neuro and other wards but now only one table is functional, sources added. The number of patients operated daily stood around eight to 10 which slid to half.

"At least 12 doctors were appointed between June and September 2012 at Anaesthesia Department for making up the shortage of anaesthetists but the hospital administration moved them to gynea and other departments on political pressure," sources claimed.

Meanwhile, the poor patients waiting for their turn demanded the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of this situation and direct hospital administration to increase the number of anaesthetists.

FUNERAL IN ABSENTIA: The ghaibana namaz-e-janaza of former JI amir Qazi Hussain Ahmad was offered here at Jamia tul Uloom on Monday. Hundreds of citizens including political activists, leaders of different parties, JI workers, traders, lawyers and students joined the prayer. Sentimental scenes were seen during the namaz-e-janaza as JI workers burst into tears.