KARACHI- Dearth of doctors, non-availability of medicines and disposable as well as faulty gadgets have added to the misery of hundreds of heart patients visiting Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases.    

KIHD, one of the two designated public sector cardiac treatment centre in the metropolis, catering to the need of patients from Karachi as well as from other parts of Sindh and Balochistan is presently exposed to serious financial crisis as well as mismanagement. “We are required to purchase even the essential medicines needed for heart patients brought to emergency department,” said Muhammad Pervez whose brother is presently admitted to the KIHD’s Coronary Care Unit (CCU).

He was not the single soul exposed to the dilemma as majority of the patients visiting the institute belonged to lower socio-economic group and expected that the tertiary care facility could provide them the needed solace.

Zubair, a motorcycle mechanic, was in search of blood needed by his father, a plumber on the surgery list at the KIHD. He also had to seek loan to arrange medicines as well as tests his father had to undergo.

Afzal Hussain with his mother admitted for past three days said on an average Rs6,000 to 10,000 are spent by patients during first 24 hours or a little more under different heads.

According to a patient Dilawar Khan Hospital beds and presence of a few doctors were the only facility available to the patients admitted to the postgraduate teaching and training institute. The facility also has no provision for food for the admitted patients.

Scenario for those visiting Out Patient Department (OPD) was equally difficult as they had to wait from three hours to three days for simply being examined by a cardiologist.

There was shortage of doctors who had to ensure visit to the wards besides realizing “other responsibilities” while attending patients at OPD, from 9am to 2pm.

A senior doctor associated with the hospital acknowledged that dearth of funds has emerged as a serious problem compelling him and his colleagues to ask care takers of the patients to arrange medicines, drugs and other relevant items on their own.