LAHORE: Around 55 posts of psychiatrists are lying vacant in the Punjab Institute of Mental Health (PIMH) for many years, due to which the management is facing hardships in treating the large number of mental patients. The hospital sources disclosed recently.
It was also stated that; Patients of mental illness belonging to all regions of the country, visit this institute for treatment, including; AJK, South Waziristan & North Waziristan.
In many cases, the family members, after getting their patients admitted in this institute, never came back or contacted the management again, to ask about their patients condition. The financial burden and social responsibility of such helpless and deserted patients is completely borne by the institution.
This 1400 beds capacity hospital is providing all modes of treatment including; Electro-Convulsive Therapy with the help of highly qualified psychiatrists. The institution also has a special medical healthcare centre to provide general medical care to mentally ill patients. It has a 24-hour emergency department and OPD facilities too.
Around 500 to 600 patients of mental ailments visit its OPD every day. All kinds of medicines are being provided free of cost to patients. However, there is a shortage of staff in the hospital, as around 55 posts of psychiatric and other cadres are lying vacant in the hospital, due to which problems are faced while dealing with the rising number of patients, both at its OPDs and registered categories, sources added.
The institute is in dire need of specialized psychiatrists and paramedics to provide better mental healthcare to its registered and outdoor patients. It was also learnt that health department had approved many posts for the mental hospital, but the finance department is not willing to sanction the recommended posts.
When contacted, the management and the DMS of the hospital – Dr. Ashfaq Pervez stated that; It is true, that the hospital is facing a shortage of psychiatrists and other staff, however a requisition for appointment of more psychiatrists and staff has been sent to the health department of Punjab, but we have not received any response from the government authorities.