LAHORE - Lady Wellington Hospital has closed down its operation theatres and labour rooms during the loadshedding hours due to delay in issuance of funds by the Punjab health department. Several operations at the hospital, exclusively treating the gynecology patients, are being postponed daily and are referred to other teaching hospitals of the City. MS Lady Wellington Hospital said that though it was a very difficult decision to stop health services during the loadshedding hours but the hospital administration had no other option but to refuse treatment to patients. The hospital sources said that the finance department did not release the funds of Rs 1.5 million to the hospital administration. The said outstanding amount was to be used to purchase diesel from the local petrol pump to run generator in the hospital during loadshedding. The Punjab health department, however, did no pay heed to the repeated requests of the hospital administration putting the patients in great trouble. Women patients are suffering a lot after the hospital's administration expressed its inability and helplessness to continue health services due to loadshedding. The hospital doctors have flatly refused for major or minor surgeries of the gynecology patients during the loadshedding hours saying that it can be a greater risk to the lives of women patients and their babies. The sources said the hospital administration was bearing expenditures of Rs 300,000 every month while consuming 200 litre diesel daily which was being used to run generator during the loadshedding. According to the hospital administration, 235-bedded Lady Wallington Hospital is providing treatment to the gynecology patients visiting from Walled City, Shahdara, Begum Kot, Kala Shah Kaku, Sheikhupura, Mureedke, Kamonke and Narowal. Above 200 patients visit the outdoor department of the hospital while 60 to 80 patients visit the emergency department daily. Similarly, around 30 major surgeries of the women patients are performed in the hospital besides some minor operations daily. Out of these, the sources said, operations of 12 to 15 patients are conducted daily during the loadshedding hours. Since the loadshedding has been started again, most of the operations are being performed by the help of running generators. The sources revealed that the petrol pump owner stopped supplying diesel to the hospital due to the non-payment of outstanding amount. The owner had reduced diesel supply as a warning in the month of January this year and then stopped complete supply in the beginning of March. The situation has worsened for the last couple of weeks as several operations have been postponed and the patients are being referred to the other teaching hospitals. The medical experts were of the view that gynecology operations cannot be postponed even in any emergency situation, as this kind of surgery is entirely different than the operations of patients suffering from other diseases. Gynecology operations cannot be delayed at any cost, they maintained. Medical Superintendent of the Lady Wallington Hospital Dr Afzal Shaheen said that the hospital administration had written a letter to the Punjab health department in January 2009 and had informed the department about the worsening situation due to the non-issuance of funds. Many reminders were sent but to no avail, he said, adding that he himself had visited the office of secretary health Punjab and told him about the sufferings of the patients and the hospital administration. The secretary health, he said, took serious notice and forwarded the case to the finance department for immediate release of the funds to the hospital. He said the finance department took no action so far. Ultimately, he said, the hospital administration took decision to close the operations theatres during the loadshedding hours. Secretary Health Punjab Anwar A Khan said that the department was quite serious towards the sufferings of patients. He said that efforts were underway and the funds would be released to the hospital soon.