Rawalpindi - The poor patients have been facing problems in getting treatment at outdoor patient departments (OPDs) of Allied Hospitals (AHs) due to indifferent and non-serious attitude of senior doctors.

Most of the professors and senior doctors, heading many departments in AHs, are not attending the patients in OPDs despite their OPD days, causing immense troubles to the patients, coming from far-flung areas.

During a survey conducted by The Nation in last seven days in three teaching hospitals including District Headquarter Hospital (DHQ), Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and Holy Family Hospital (HFH), it was observed that no senior doctor or professor was present in OPD to see the patients.

The medical superintendents of AHs are helpless to control the situation. Nonetheless, these senior doctors daily sit in their private clinics and see the patients.

The situation in HFH, the largest one among AHs, was worst to compare with two other hospitals as patients were screaming with pain while the postgraduate trainees and house officers were unable to diagnose their diseases.

A female postgraduate trainee on Wednesday last at HFH Surgical OPD was heard by this scribe saying to a patient suffering with thyroid: “What should I do if senior doctors do not want to come in OPD. I have called my seniors many times since morning but he did not pay heed. It will be better for you to come again and show yourself to some senior doctor if he is present in OPD.”

When asked as to where the senior doctors were sitting and could be approached by patients; the PGT replied Surgical Unit Number 1. When this scribe visited SU 1, no senior was present there. The staff told that they did not know where the doctor was. 

A patient Iffat Bibi, who came from Kashmir, told The Nation that she paid visit to Surgical OPD HFH twice that day but found the senior doctors absent. “I reached here yesterday early in the morning, spent night in a local hotel and yet to get her child checked by the doctor,” she said.

Amir Waseem, an attendant, told that patients would find no senior doctor in the OPD as inexperienced doctors were checking the patients.

A large number of patients and their attendants told The Nation on Saturday that the senior doctors and professors did not examine the patients in the departments. “They prefer to examine them in their clinics after official duty hours and mostly ask patients to visit them there,” they said.

They said that they were collecting high fees, besides asking patients to carry out expensive tests in laboratories owned by them.

It was also learnt that every one of these aforementioned teaching hospitals get services of 70 to 80 specialist doctors who were supposed to sit in the OPDs from 09:00am to 02:00pm and examine patients.

The provincial government in August 2005 had strictly warned senior doctors against their absence from OPDs but the specialist paid no heed to the warning and the situation after doctors’ strike in recent past has further emboldened them.

A junior doctor, who wished not to be named, said that sometimes a patient need to be admitted but they can’t do it without the approval of senior doctors.

Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC) Principal and AHs Chief Executive Prof Dr Muhammad Umer, when contacted by The Nation, expressed ignorance about the situation and said that he would take notice of doctors’ absenteeism. “I have received no such complaint from patients.

Prompt action will be taken if I am informed about any doctor’s absence from his duty,” he said.