LAHORE - Rush at public hospitals is decreasing as many of patients and their attendants want to celebrate Eid at home and hospital staff are benign to their requests for discharge.

But doctors say that as the rush decreases at Indoors it sharply rises at Emergency wards on Eid days, making no big difference for the medical and paramedical staff of the hospitals.

In normal situation, one bed is occupied by two or even three patients due to lack of space and huge burden of patients at almost all public hospitals of the provincial capital.

However, with only those in serious conditions or having complications staying for regular medical and nursing care, rush at almost all wards at teaching hospitals has already decreased.

The load at major teaching hospitals – Mayo Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, Services Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital – has decreased by almost 50 percent in last couple of days due to Eid departures. The burden is likely to decrease further as more ‘cold cases’ (those in stable condition) are seeking permission to leave hospitals.

“Yes, many patients with stable condition have been discharged. We don’t allow serious patients to leave the hospital however,” said Dr Asif, Medical Officer at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

“Those living with hernia or carrying stones in bladders for years are called cold cases (in medical jargon) and in such cases surgery can be delayed for days or even weeks. Only such patients are allowed to leave the hospital and that too on their own request,” he said. “It is predominantly the desire of attendants, not the doctors, to discharge an indoor patient. We don’t stop those in stable condition but, at the same time, don’t allow those having complications to leave the hospital,” said Dr Hanan, a Medical Officer of Mayo Hospital Orthopedic Ward.

“Doctors have to perform duties at all wards as per the duty roaster irrespective of the number of patients. It does ease doctors and paramedical staff but they do not send patients home forcibly. As many as eight patients got discharged from my ward today on their request. They were allowed to go as all were in stable conditions,” he added. “Doctors, nurses and other staff have to perform duties at all wards during Eid days. As OPD is closed, only emergency patients are treated at hospitals. Discharge of huge number of Indoor patients doesn’t make much difference as load increases on Emergency due to closure of clinics of family physicians. Cases like Gastro witness a sharp rise, making Emergencies of public hospitals overcrowded,” Dr Hanan explained.

Medical officer at Jinnah Hospital, Dr Khurram Shahzad seconded Dr Hanan saying, “This is routine, those needing stay usually stay; only those who are stable are allowed to leave the hospital. When burden eases on Indoors, it increases on Emergency. As such load on a hospital remains almost the same. It does not make much difference for doctors, nurses and other staff.”­