ISLAMABAD - Citizens on Monday stressed the authorities to replace out-of-order central air conditioning system at the Mother and Child Healthcare Centre of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences and make arrangements for installation of new cooling unit to facilitate the patients.

They said that the cooling system was not even functional at the MCHC’s emergency, operation theatres and intensive care units that multiplied the sufferings of patients and becoming a cause of disruption for both patients and hospital staff.

Aftab Aleem, an attendant at the MCHC said that several necessary operations and procedures were being delayed due to unavailability of required temperature.

Doctors say that specific room temperatures were necessary for some procedures and control of serious infections as it might increase in extremely hot atmosphere, he added.

Another attendant, Saleem Mumtaz said that his wife had been admitted in the MCHC ward for the last several days as the procedure was delayed due to problem with the cooling system.

He said, “Fans and air conditioners are out-of-order in MCHC’s emergency, general wards and private wards, making it difficult for us to further wait here. We had no other option but to leave the hospital,” he added.

Saira Bano, a patient at MCHC said that mostly serious patients were at the mercy of ceiling fans, which were installed by the doctors from their own pockets.

She added, “I visited PIMS MCH from a far-flung area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but I am very disappointed over this situation as despite submitting several complaints with the hospital administration, not a single step was taken to repair the cooling system.”

Naeem Khan, another attendant said that unfortunately there was no cooling system even at MCH’s recovery room where patients were shifted after surgeries. Due to this situation many patients had to face slow healing process of their wounds, he added.

He said that medical and para medical staff including nurses at MCH had also been facing similar issue as there was no proper sitting place for them with having facility of water-cooler or other services in case of long and odd-time duties. However the administration staff was enjoying all such facilities there, he complained.

As per documents, the number of normal deliveries at the MCH increased from 3,000 per year in 1999 to 10,000 per year in 2016. The number of antenatal patients increased from 3,000 in 2000 to almost 100,000 in 2016. This increase in workload adversely affected the patient care besides putting immense pressure on staff and quality of care.

While the number of patients and emergencies kept on increasing, there was no provision in terms of space and human resource to cater to the additional patients and required facilities for them.

When contacted, the PIMS Media Coordinator Dr Waseem Khawaja said that though the population of the capital had doubled during the last three decades, not a single new hospital was constructed after the PIMS, which was completed during the late 1980s.

“Moreover, we get a large number of patients from Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, AJK and other areas of the country due to which the workload has increased. Though the management had been making efforts to provide treatment to every patient, still there are complaints because of lack of staff, equipment and infrastructure,” he said.

He said that with completion of Rs4.5 billion extension project of MCHC and Children Hospital at PIMS, patients will get better services. He added the project was recommended by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) and approved by Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).

“We hope that not only infrastructure will be established but more staff would also be recruited so that proper medical treatment and facilities would be provided to the patients.”

He said that the hospital management was determined to address all genuine issues of the patients including central cooling system at MCHC.