Liaquat National Hospital was founded on February 23, 1953 with the noble aim of serving the middle class people. For a long time it served the purpose, building up trust of generations in the services of this institution. But this dream turned into a nightmare when the running of the hospital came into incompetent hands of someone who does not understand that medicine is not a business. Now the affairs of the hospital have come to such a sorry pass that everything is being measured in terms of money. Don't ask the unsatisfied patients and their attendants; just ask the doctors and staff presently serving. Some of the oldest, most renowned and dedicated consultants have literally been forced to leave in the past, the remaining having no alternative but to do so now in search of better opportunities. The hospital is terribly short-staffed to the extent that the quality of healthcare is being compromised. The doctors' pay is not being adjusted according to the rapidly rising inflation which is the principal cause of frustration among them. It is unbelievable but true that some of the drivers are earning more than postgraduate doctors in our institution. When we became doctors, we took an oath of saving lives to the best of our abilities. That we are unable to do while being underpaid, overworked and understaffed at this hospital. This is a plea to the people who are responsible, especially the governing body members, to save this sinking ship before the hourglass runs out of sand. Please help us prevent this hospital from becoming a dead loss. -DR FAIZA HOOSAIN, Karachi, via e-mail, July 8.