Rawalpindi    -   Patients are suffering badly as medicines shortage worsens in emergency department of the District Headquarters Hospital, Raja Bazaar apparently due to negligence of the health authorities.

The Health Department has failed to purchase life-saving medicines through its procurement committee whereas the management of the hospital and the government are doing nothing to overwhelm the drastic issue of medicines shortage.

The patients, including those injured in road traffic accidents or dengue suspects, are being asked by the doctors to purchase medicines with their own money from outside the hospital.  Medicines for patients suffering from chronic diseases are also not available in the hospital.

As a result, the patients and their attendants are facing lot of troubles, something seeking strong attention of Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar.

Moreover, suspension of electricity supply in the hospital due to fault in a fuse in the main supply room also hampered health facilities in the hospital on Monday putting lives of serious patients in danger.

“The medicines for patients suffering from chronic diseases, including infectious, have finished in the stock and the doctors are advising patients to buy medicines from medical stores outside the hospital,” revealed a nurse serving in Emergency Department of the DHQ. Munawar Aftab, a resident of Adiala Road, told The Nation that he brought his son Adeel Aftab, 26 in ED of the DHQ at 5am with high fever, stomach pain and vomiting. He said that his son was admitted and a doctor asked him to purchase medicine from outside the hospital for his ailing son. He said that the doctor and nurse told him that the stocks of several medicines had finished in the store room when he argued with them.

“I was also asked to go outside of the hospital for purchasing medicines that I had to get for my patient,” said Saqib, another citizen, who brought his mother in ED of DHQ for treatment. An elderly woman, who was not willing to tell her name, also revealed that she had to purchase medicines from a medical store located near the main gate of the DHQ. “Doctors and nurses handed me over a slip mentioning some injections and tablets and asked me to buy the same from outside as the hospital was facing shortage of medicines,” she said.

On the other hand, the suspension of power supply in the hospital doubled the miseries of doctors, paramedical staffers and the patients, forcing delay in laboratory tests and other medical facilities.

“The cause behind the suspension of electricity in hospital since 4am was burning of a fuse due to rain in the main power supply room,” said a paramedical staffer present on reception of the DHQ.

Patients are facing problems in the hospital due to prolonged power suspension, he said, adding that the manual emergency tickets he was issuing to patients were not being accepted by the computers in the laboratories, he said.  Medical Superintendent DHQ Dr Farzana Zafar, however, when approached, simply refused the shortage of medicines in ED of DHQ. “It is impossible and even unbelievable that doctors are sending patients and their attendants outside of hospital for purchasing medicines,” she said, adding, “We have a plenty of stock of life-saving medicines in ED and doctors are not allowed to send patients or their attendants to bring medicines from outside,”

She said that she would hold inquiry into the matter and would punish those involved in such practice.