Five years ago, the Punjab government upgraded 179-bed Daska Civil Hospital to district headquarters level however the cardiology department at the hospital is yet to be made functional despite completion of its building as no recruitment has so far been made in this respect. The government established the new building at a cost of Rs160 million to provide better health facilities for the local patients. Due to unavailability of a cardiologist at DHQ Hospital, the department could not be made functional. Thus, the heart patients have to go to Sialkot and Gujranwala for treatment. The situation leaves a question mark on the alleged slackness of the officials concerned. When contacted, Medical Superintendent Dr Sajjad Nabi said that vacancies were lying vacant for urologist, no anesthetist, chest specialist, cardiologist, dermatologists, psychiatrist, gynecologists, ENT, ECG technician and physiotherapist at the hospital for the last five years.Moreover, he added, three posts of the gynecologists have been lying vacant for the last three years due to which the female patients were being treated by the senior and junior nurses. Similarly, 16 posts of male and female medical officers are lying vacant.About 700 indoor and outdoor patients visit the hospital daily. Some of the outdoor patients were of the view that most of such patients have to purchase all the medicines from the private medical stores. However, the poor and needy patients were unable to purchase costly medicines, they added.It has no cardiac specialist due to which heart patients are often referred to Sialkot of Gujranwala hospitals for medical treatment but during the shifting, serious patients often pass away. The medical facility is faced with a host of problems including unavailability of doctors, paramedics, x-ray films and shortage of medicines thereby affecting working at indoor and outdoor departments. The medical superintendent said that he had repeatedly brought this situation into the notice of the high ups but to no avail. He added that an NGO had donated X-ray films to this hospital but in insufficient quantity.Meanwhile, Markazi Anjuman Tajraan Daska President Muhammad Ashraf, Thinkers’ Forum President Muhammad Jamil Sethi and Patients’ Welfare Association Sialkot President Zafar Malik expressed grave concern over the situation. They urged Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to look into the matter in the larger public interest. On the other hand, the citizens of Daska wrote to the Punjab ombudsman seeking his prompt action to resolve the problems.