Covid 19, Regional News

Sindh hospitals face acute shortage pulmonologists and respiratory therapists

KARACHI: The public sector hospitals of the Sindh province have been facing an acute shortage of pulmonologists and respiratory therapists, but no concrete step has been taken in the past to fill these critical posts.

Health Experts said a large number of deaths due to the coronavirus are occurring because of lung failure across Pakistan, including Sindh. These casualties can be averted if pulmonologists and respiratory therapists are available in all tertiary care and district level hospitals.

Pulmonologists are only available at the Chest Department of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), while no such facility is present in the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, Sindh Government Lyari Hospital, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Sindh Government Qatar Hospital, and other district hospitals of the city.

Although a few pulmonologists and respiratory therapists are available in Karachi’s private sector hospitals, the majority of public sector health facilities lack chest specialists.

Similarly, no pulmonologists and respiratory therapists are available in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Nawabshah, and other cities of the province.

According to experts, the presence of pulmonologists and respiratory therapists is mandatory in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), particularly established for COVID-19 patients.

There is an urgent need to hire pulmonologists and respiratory therapists in public sector hospitals of   Sindh to minimize the number of deaths resulting due to the coronavirus.

When contacted, Medical Superintendent, CHK, Dr Khadim Hussain Qureshi, said that no pulmonologists and respiratory therapists are posted in the hospital; however, a formal request is being sent to the Sindh Health Department for the provision of doctors.

-MN Report

June 15, 2020

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