The video of an elderly poor lady dying on floor of Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital went viral and the media, while highlighting the issue, failed to focus on factors responsible for the collapse of our health system. The question arises, were sufficient beds available in the hospital where the patient could have been accommodated? Is it fair to suspend the MS of hospital when the state itself has not allocated sufficient funds to invest in health infrastructure? The institutionalised corruption and conflict of interests of the political and bureaucratic elite of Pakistan, who are involved in trade and private businesses, is in violation of internationally accepted code of ethics. It has made life miserable for the citizens of Pakistan.

For any government owned hospital to have the capacity to serve people in need, funds are required for the provision of a sufficient number of hospital beds, rooms and equipment. This can only happen if taxes are collected from all those who earn above a declared threshold and not through frequent tax amnesty schemes which encourages tax evasion. It is essential that qualified doctors should be amongst the highest paid servants of the state, more so than bureaucrats and bankers due to the nature of the work they have to carry out.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, January 21.