KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) expressed grave concern over the poor healthcare system of the country.
Earlier, reports surfaced about a man suspected to have coronavirus, but was isolated in a private hospital in Karachi owing to a lack of facilities at public hospitals.
Secretary-General, Pakistan Medical Association (Centre), Dr S M Qaisar Sajjad, said we do not have the facilities at our airports to quarantine any case. There were few rooms available for quarantined individuals at the Karachi airport but no facilities, he added.
He said that the PMA has always highlighted the health issues of the country. “We have also offered recommendations and placed a charter of demands for the governments to implement and improve the health delivery system in Pakistan, but the voice of the PMA always falls on deaf ears,” Qaiser noted.
Regarding the coronavirus, the PMA had earlier demanded the evacuation of Pakistani students from China. In light of the suspected case of coronavirus, the PMA noted that it was not safe to bring them back to Pakistan owing to the lack of facilities.
“In this scenario, the students should not be shifted to Pakistan, and it is better to keep them in China because China has a strong health delivery system, and if any student suffers from coronavirus, he or she can be effectively managed in China. Our sympathies are with the parents, but the situation is complex,” he added.
He regretted that due to the lack of facilities in our health department, our government could not evacuate our students. Even Bangladesh and India recently evacuated their students from Wuhan.
He requested the government to financially and logistically support all those who are affected, particularly the students in China. In the future, whenever the government brings back these students, they will have to be kept quarantined. We should prepare ourselves for the future to handle such a situation. We have no viral diagnostic facilities in the country except one in Islamabad, he concluded.