Heart patients across Punjab are at a risk of losing their lives due to the sluggishness of the Punjab Health Department’s (PHD). According to sources, many hospitals across Punjab along with the Pakistan Institute of Cardiology (PIC) are out of stents. A stent is a tiny metal or plastic tube that restores the flow of blood.

This gross negligence for people’s health must be accounted for. The government in charge came with the promise of human development - an aspect of which is the health sector. A heart patient, Muhammad Aqeel, who was recently diagnosed with unstable angina and was recommended angiography, said, “I have been visiting PIC for the past several days to get an appointment for the procedure, but am refused treatment by the doctors. They refuse to take up my case.”

A request was forwarded to the PHD but it has been lying with them for over a month without any response. This has greatly increased the chance of several patients losing their lives across Punjab due to the lack of prioritisation by the department in charge. Due to the lack of availability of stents, several hospitals are now giving dates to patients for angioplasty way in the future. However, this practice will only worsen their condition because heart patients require immediate treatment. It is most likely that patients who require stents at this point will not survive another heart attack. Angioplasty provides immediate relief to such patients but both the hospitals and patients are in a state of limbo due to the lack of response from PHD. Punjab Minister for Health Dr Yasmeen Rashid has promised the immediate relief of patients in the case. It is recommended that proper data is maintained with regards to the health sector so that no demands are ignored with a budget of Rs32 billion for this sector.