Residents complain of doctors behaviour

Islamabad-Residents of the federal capital on Sunday asked concerned authorities to take notice of violation of ethics by medical practitioners at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences and Policlinic hospitals.

They claimed that contrary to medical ethics, doctors’ behaviour with patients was totally inhuman at the outpatient departments (OPDs), emergency and other wards of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and Federal Government Polyclinic hospitals. They said that doctors should ensure good behaviour with the patients because it directly or indirectly affected them.

The citizens observed that due to their busy schedule in private clinics, mostly, senior doctors of the two hospitals remained absent from their duties even during daytime while post-graduate trainee doctors performed duties in their place. The residents said that despite their absence, the senior doctors remain present on duty charts and even get overtime charges. Sherbaz Khan, a patient at PIMS medical ward, complained that no one in the hospital cared about the patients. He said that patients expected from medical practitioners to provide them with quality treatment while being compassionate and respecting human dignity. “Under professional ethics, medical practitioners are bound to avoid any discriminatory attitude or exploit vulnerable situations in the hospital,” Aftab Qureshi, another patient admitted at PIMS said. He said that under the code of ethics of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), negligence in respect of professional duties could lead to suspension or removal from services.

Asad Ullah Khan, another patient at PIMS, observed that the doctors should be discouraged from entering into business deals with patients or other arrangements that include financial incentives from pharmaceutical companies. He said that in all dealings with the patients, every doctor should keep in mind that the interest of the patient and the advantage to the patient’s health should be the major consideration.

Mubarak Ali, a patient, said that due to non-observance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) by the staff at the emergency of Polyclinic hospital, patients face several hardships, particularly those who are in critical condition. Sometimes patients at the emergency, he said, needed immediate response, but the doctors could not ensure timely presence.

Adnan Haider, an attendant with a patient at PIMS, said that keeping in view serious nature of the section, only well-trained medical and non-medical staff having full knowledge of the SOPs and other procedures should be deputed at the emergency.

The PMDC is committed to regulate the standards of medical practice, protect interests of patients, supervise medical education, and give guidelines on ethical issues, a spokesperson of the council said while reacting on non-observance of code of ethics by PIMS doctors. She said that the code of ethics provided a set of principles prescribed by the council, which doctors could use as guidelines in varying situations in line with their judgment, experience, knowledge and skills.

In case of receiving any complaint regarding negligence and malpractice of doctors, the council takes strict action against medical practitioners, she added. She advised citizens to send their complaints against doctors directly to the president of the PMDC.
When contacted, an official of the PIMS hospital said that unlike medical practices abroad where one doctor examines 5 to 7 patients a day, at PIMS, each doctor has to examine scores of patients daily at emergency and other wards. He claimed that the doctors fully observed the code of ethics and the management had taken several steps to provide best medical care to the patients. He said that a team of doctors remained in the emergency ward of the hospital round the clock to provide proper medical cover to incoming patients.

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