Lack of facilities at Civil Hospital paint dismal picture of health sector

QUETTA: The densely-populated capital of the province presents a dismal state of health due to the lack of facilities in Quetta’s largest public hospital.

With absence of CCTV cameras and out-of-order walkthrough gates, the Civil Hospital depicts an alarming state of security also.

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The security of the hospital is totally reliant on a few dozen guards who do not even possess basic screening and security devices.

The hospital laboratories make use of out-of-date equipment well below modern healthcare standards, with hardly any machines for anesthesia, ultrasound, MRI and CT scans.

The hospital does have an X-Ray machine, but due to inadequate provision of films, X-Ray reports have not been generated for over a year.

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The hospital cannot even procure syringes despite a hefty budget of Rs220 million, forcing caregivers of patients to buy even the most basic medicines and supplies from private medical stores. The administration gets support from pharmaceutical companies for regular functioning.

The 800-bed hospital provides health services to an overwhelming 8,000 to 10,000 people every day, with just one fully functional operation theatre on board.

The pediatric intensive care unit and hepatitis ward of the hospital depend on welfare organisations for supplies and medicines.

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In addition, the physiotherapy ward of the health facility has turned non-functional due to lack of space. Of the Rs220 million budget allocated by the government, 25 per cent is to be spent on medicines and 65 per cent on surgical supplies, reports the administration, adding that the hospital attends to 10,000 OPD patients hailing from Afghanistan and different parts of Balochistan.

“We have repeatedly requested the authorities to take notice of hospital security asking for additional guards, cameras and walkthrough gates,” the administration said. “For months, X-Ray films were being purchased on credit only for the operation theatres because of inadequate anesthesia facilities.”

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We had been receiving medicines under the MSD mode until 2017, revealed the management. However, from this year onwards, the hospital will procure medicines on its own for which negotiations are being held with pharmaceutical companies.

According to the administration, the government budget for medicines and supplies is inadequate to cater to the needs of millions of patients visiting the hospital every year.

“We have appealed to the health secretary and other authorities to increase our budget,” the hospital management said. “We are continuously working to improve our budget by approaching government and welfare organisations.”

According to the administration, the hospital has been exercising great vigilance over performance of the staff. “We ensure that our doctors and the paramedical staff perform their best according to abilities,” the management said.

“Crackdowns have taken place against employees engaged in corrupt activities. Keeping a keen eye on the staff also assures judicious and prudent use of the hospital funds,” the management added.

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