All the main roads leading to two major hospitals being run by Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has been illegally encroached by ‘encroachment mafia, with the consent of hospital administration and KMC officials, it was learnt recently.
Well-placed sources at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, on condition of anonymity, stated that; illegal encroachment around the hospital has become a serious inconvenience for visiting patients, attendants, ambulance’s drivers and medical staff. He said auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers have established their permanent stands around the hospital with the consent of local police and KMC officials.
He said; unchecked illegal encroachment around the KMC-run Abbasi Shaheed Hospital is not only hindering movement of ambulances carrying out emergency work but also creating problems for people rushing to the hospital’s emergency.
The KMC administration has failed to remove such encroachments as the encroachers are backed by local police, hospital administration, KMC officers and some political parties. Some private rescue organizations have also set up ambulance counters outside the entrance gate of hospital, causing serious inconvenience for patients and ambulances carrying injured people.
The illegal encroachment causes constant road block in rush hours and its has become much difficult for ambulance drivers to shift injured people to hospital. The roads leading to the hospital have been encroached by the illegal vendors, stall owners, medical stores and fruit sellers on permanent basis.
On other hand, Sindh’s largest maternity care institution – Sobhraj Hospital, located near Urdu Bazaar, is also facing similar situation as book stall owners, motorcyclists and car parking around hospital have made it difficult for women to enter the hospital for treatment in morning hours. The staff of hospital is also facing hard ships in access and parking their vehicle in such circumstances.
Senior Director Health & Medical Services at Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) -Dr Salma Kausar Ali, when contacted, said; A letter has already been dispatched to the anti-encroachment unit of KMC, to remove all illegal encroachments around the major hospitals.