Islamabad - Exodus of people has started from the federal capital ahead of Eid and government offices have been locked for five days, but for the hospitals and medical staff, the festive occasion will not be much different due to their scheduled duties.

Abdul Hakeem is the in-charge of paramedics at Federal Government Services Hospital (FGSH); his duty is to look after patients admitted in the male medical ward of the hospital.

Hakeem, now in middle of his career, in the facility has spent indefinite Eids remaining ‘on duty’ in the hospital. For him, Eid day has a special significance but his professional responsibilities are bigger and more important than his personal life.

“It is not the case that I regret joining this profession, the problem is lack of appreciation,” said Hakeem.

In his view, people remember them when they have to visit the hospital for medical treatment and government for assigning the duties.

“A minor section of the society may have a feeling that when they celebrate important days with their families, few have to look after others families,” he said.

Islamabad has the population of more than two million where a majority belong to other cities and they move to their native towns on the occasion of Eids.

FGSH and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) are the two biggest public sector medical facilities for the citizens in nearby areas.

Because of having state-of-the-art facilities comparatively better than other hospitals, the influx of patients in the federal city has increased more than its capacity.

The locality of both facilities has though increased their strategically significance but the staffers have the same regret of non-recognition of their services.

Shareefa Khatoon is a nurse at PIMS and a local resident. Due to her residential status, she has not been given Eid holidays and will stay in the facility.

As per regulations, employees from other cities avail Eid vacations and locals have to remain on call and look after the duties.

“I celebrate Eid with my children but the difference is that they came to me in the hospital,” she said.

Shreefa, who saw decades of her career, viewed that public opinion regarding nurses have not changed and only symbolic credit is given to this segment on special occasions.

“Nurses are depicted as the ill-mannered staff in the hospital but no one tries to look into their nature of job,” said Shareefa.

She said approximately one nurse in the hospital look after 70 patients but at the end of day they are criticised for their behaviour.

“These duties and services are not recognised by the government and public, we sacrifice our personal life for others but no one takes a practical step for appreciation,” she added.

Shreefa is satisfied with her duties, hospital administration also recognises her work but she has objections on society’s behaviour.

“I cannot comment on behaviour of the society as for majority of people we are robots meant to provide services,” she said.

Talking to The Nation Dr Sahrif Astori said that hospitals are on high alert for years and the medical staffs perform their duties with all their energies.

“All doctors, paramedics and technicians work for public healthcare with limited available resources and are on call on Eid days also,” he said.

“It is requirement of the profession and everyone in the profession is aware of the realties,” he said.

But, in his view the society has forgotten the human aspect and respect for those who are always available for their miseries and emergencies.

He said government should allocate special allowances for all the staff that perform duties in difficult times.

However, he said Eid day makes a strong bond with a patient when a medical practitioner begin the day greeting Eid to one another, he said.