SIALKOT - The Pakistan Railways Hospital at Sialkot has been no-functional for the last two years due to unavailability of medicines, doctors and paramedics, causing grave concern to the PR employees and their families.

The PR hospital was established at four-acre land in front of the Sialkot Junction in 1880 during the British regime to provide free of cost medical facilities for them in Sialkot region. Total number of the employees and their family who take benefit of the medical facility is 5,038. Now, the four-bed hospital is wearing a deserted look due to the unavailability of doctors and paramedical staff and the hospital building is unattended. It has also become a safe place for the local addicts. Most of the local influential people are often found busy organising fights of cocks in the courtyard of the hospital.

The posts of medical officer, dispenser, nurse and ward man are lying vacant for the last one and half years. The only watchman and a sweeper are the “in-charge” of the hospital, as the higher officials had left it at the mercy of the watchman and the sweeper.

The cleanliness situation has now become worst as there are heaps of trash everywhere in the hospital. Because of unavailability of even medicines, the PR employees are forced to visit private hospitals and clinics at their own. Several perturbed employees including Muhammad Khalid, Bashir Khan, Allah Rakha, Ghulam Abbas, Muhammad Iqbal, Ghulam Rasul, Mushtaq Ahmed, Mehmood Akhtar and Muhammad Din have expressed grave concern over the nasty situation.

They urged Railways Minister and the Pakistan Railways chairman to take serious notice of the matter and ensure effective efforts to make the PR hospital functional. When contacted, the officials concerned said that the situation was repeatedly brought into the notice of the higher PR officials but to no avail. However, they denied that it had become a safe place for addicts.

PML-Q looking for strong candidate: The PML-Q has been looking for a strong for NA-112 Sialkot-III for the upcoming general elections.

Though the PML-Q has two names for candidature in the constituency including former Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment DG Brig (r) Muhammad Aslam Ghuman and Muhammad PML-Q Sialkot District President Saleem Baryar, the party has been undecided to finalise its candidate in the constituency. However, reportedly both the heavyweights are flexing muscles and making strenuous efforts to get green signal for the PML-Q ticket.

In 2008 general elections, PML-N’s Rana Abdul Sattar had defeated the PML-Q Chief Shujaat Hussain from this constituency with a great lead of 50,000 votes. PML-Q remained second in this constituency while, PPP’s candidate Col (r) Sultan Sikandar Ghuman clinched third position by getting 29,472 votes.

 Now, the provincial leaders of both the PPP and PML-Q have agreed on seat adjustment. The PPP’s losing candidate has joined PTI.