KARACHI – The number of visiting patients and admission to public sector hospitals being run under the umbrella of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has drastically declined in the last five years owing to unavailability of medicines, diagnostic facilities and doctors, it was reliably learnt.
Well-informed sources at the KMC’s Health & Medical Services directorate told Medical News that the number of patients visiting OPDs and seeking admission to major healthcare institutions of the corporation – Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases (KIHD), Sobhraj Maternity Hospital (SMH), Sarfaraz Rafiqui Shaheed Hospital, Leprosy Hospital, Manghopir and Spencer’s Eye Hospital – have dropped by 20 to 25 per cent.
Attributing shortage of drugs, doctors and unavailability of diagnostic facilities in the above mentioned hospitals to the lingering financial crisis, sources said that the management of these hospitals under the circumstances are unable to provide free of cost healthcare facilities to the patients.
“In fact, such a deplorable condition in these hospitals had been persisting for the last five years,” sources informed that major diagnostic machines have been lying out of order but the administration of the hospitals have no funds to either get them repaired or replace them with new ones.”
Financial crisis being faced by KMC’s major hospitals has, on the one hand, resulted in stoppage of food supply to the indoor patients and, on the other, work on several development projects have come to a standstill.
They said KMC could not provide funds for medicines and other operational activities for last several years. KMC authorities have provided medicines in too low quantity to the hospitals and which are not sufficient to cater its needs.
Such a pathetic condition had been persisting at these hospitals since long, thereby forcing the poor and needy patients to visit other hospitals being run by Sindh health department, the sources said, regretting that though the matter was in the knowledge of top notches of KMC, they have utterly failed in raising the issue at a proper forum.
Moreover, senior officials of Sindh health department are also well aware of the problems being faced by KMC hospitals, but no measures have, so far, been taken by them to address the issues being confronted by KMC hospitals.
Meanwhile, KMC’s Senior Director Health & Medical Services, Dr Muhammad Ali Abbasi, said that tenders have been floated to help resolve the issues concerning shortage of medicines and X-ray films.
He was, however, optimistic that KMC hospitals’ overall situation will improve considerably with the beginning of financial year 2016-17.