KARACHI – Pakistan Medical Association and the Civil Society are very much perturbed after the two incidents of fire in the factories of Karachi and Lahore. “We condole the deaths occurred due to these incidents and sympathise with all those people who received burn injuries. The way in which all this happened seems to be a total failure of the system. It seems there is no law in the country. Unfortunately we have become a lawless nation. If there is any law, it is not being implemented. We have a National Disaster Management Authority but it seems that it does not exist in real.”These views were expressed by the leaders of PMA and members of Civil Society, while addressing a press conference on Monday at the PMA House. PMA Secretary General Centre Dr Azhar Ali Mirza, PMA Karachi General Secretary Dr Wasiq, Dr Idrees Adhi and others were present on occasion. They said, “Every now and then we come across natural calamities and disasters but unfortunately the response of our government functionaries is always poor. As a result, the damage is more than what actually it should have. There is no emergency health service in the country to tackle such type of emergencies. Some NGOs which come forward for the rescue operations have little knowledge and experience to deal with the situation properly. It is observed that hundreds of ambulances get assembled at the site of emergency at one time and on top of it thousands of people try to either get involved in the process of without having any clue or just come and watch the situation as spectators. This brings a total confusion and chaos resulting in hampering of work and mass casualties.” Different government departments responsible for implementation of law are corrupt and inefficient. There are so many questions need to be answered. Is there any central authority responsible for granting permission to set up big and small factories all over the country without having necessary protective measures for the workers.“We demand a fair judicial inquiry into both of these incidents and bring the culprits to justice. We must evolve a strategy that such incidents should not happen again,” they said. The PMA suggested that all the existing laws should be implemented in letter and spirit; there should be a mechanism to review the implementation of these laws regularly.“The industrialists and the factory owners should realise that the price is very high for a small mistake. They must arrange some foolproof mechanism like fire fighting instruments, fire alarms, emergency exits with clear-cut instructions. Proper maintenance of all electricity lines to minimise risk of short circuit. The NGOs working in the field also need training for their workers and drivers. It is observed that in a city like Karachi there is only one facility to handle the burn victims.” It is suggested that all the big hospitals of Karachi should make separate burns ward all over the city. The paramedics should be trained to give the services under the guidance of a doctor. More doctors should be trained in this regard and posted to these centres. The National Disaster Management Authority should be made functional and its role should be visible. In case of mass casualties like bomb blast and accidents, there are no sufficient services of a good trauma centre. It is suggested that every government hospital and big private hospital should have the facility of dealing with trauma patients, they suggested.