MIRPURKHAS : The administration of the Civil Hospital, Mirpurkhas, is allegedly collecting service charges from patients despite imposition of a ban on collection of any such charges by the Sindh Health Department.

Sources said the Sindh government had imposed a ban few years ago on collection of service charges from patients receiving treatment at state-run health facilities. They were issued required funds for this purpose, but unfortunately this decision was not being implemented at the Civil Hospital and patients were deprived of free medicines and other basic facilities.

Indoor and outdoor patients told the media that they were being provided substandard food and that too in short quantity and on alternative days. They said that they were being forced to buy medicines from outside. They said the administration of the civil hospital was corrupt and it had failed to provide services to patients free of cost. They said that there was an acute shortage of doctors at the civil hospital. They said that some doctors left due to mistreatment of the civil hospital administration.

They demanded that the Sindh chief minister, health secretary, provincial health minister and director general of the health services for Hyderabad take notice of collection of service charges and unavailability of other facilities to patients receiving treatment at the civil hospital.

On condition of anonymity, civil hospital officials said that service charges were being collected from patients by a surgeon doctor. When contacted, the doctor concerned was not available in his office to comment on the issue.