RAHIM YAR KHAN-A large number of patients with eye ailments have been deprived of surgeries at Sheikh Zayed Medical College Hospital (SZMCH) as four surgery machines in ophthalmology department are lying non-functional for the last two years.

The SZMCH is a teaching institution with the largest hospital in the district which provides healthcare not only to the residents of Rahim Yar Khan but also caters the patients from the neighbouring districts of Sindh and Balochistan.

The institution has four modern machines for the operations of different eye-diseases. The Phaco machine worth Rs5 million, which examines the collective functions of eye, has nor been working for last two years. Another visual field machine worth Rs3 million, which is meant to treat glaucoma, lying out of order.

Similarly a B Scan machine which diagnoses the Cataract and is used for the large operation of this disease is out of order since 2013. A Biometry machine, which determines the intraocular lens, has not been functional for the last year.

A senior doctor of ophthalmology department told this reporter that the average of patients with eye ailments at OPD remains 400 and hardly 10 to 15 patients are operated in the theatre. He said that three machines including Phaco, Biometery and B-Scan have outlived their utility and should be replaced, adding that there is a minor fault in visual field machine and it can easily be repaired.

He informed that there are 15 junior and senior doctors in ophthalmology department and this strength is not sufficient for the load of patients. The ophthalmology and eye wards exist in the old dilapidated building of the DHQ Hospital where the machines went out of order due to improper care and dusty atmosphere.

When contacted, SZMCH Principal Dr Ghulam Mustafa and focal person Dr Ibrahim Khan did not attended the call even after repeated attempts.