KARACHI: The management of the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) has been facing multiple problems to run the affairs of the hospital as the high-ups of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and the Sindh government have been unable to address the financial problems of the institution.
The number of visiting patients and their admission has also declined at the third largest public sector hospital of the city due to the ongoing financial crises of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). The hospital’s financial and administrative affairs are largely being run on limited KMC funding and philanthropic donations for the past ten years.
The shortage of staff and life-saving medicines, unavailability of advanced diagnostic facilities, suspension of food supply to patients, non-operational wards, an insufficient supply of water, out of order equipment, and other problems have gravely affected the smooth functioning of this major health institution.
Sources told that more than 700 posts, including that of doctors, nurses, paramedics, and administrative staff, are lying vacant in the hospital, severely affecting the functioning of this major healthcare facility. There were 2,100 sanctioned posts in the institution, out of which over 700 are lying vacant.
Not a single employee has been hired in this health facility for the last ten years. The shortage of doctors, nurses, paramedics, and administrative staff has affected this healthcare facility’s performance.
The major diagnostic machines are very old and outdated. The MRI machine, ventilators, incubators, and other equipment are also lying out of order as the administration is unable to get them repaired due to the shortage of funds.
The 900-plus bed hospital did not receive even 15 percent of its budgetary allocation with the result that all units of the hospital, including the intensive care and emergency units, face an acute shortage of life-saving medicines and other essential items.
The hospital’s major departments are on the verge of closure due to the shortage of specialist doctors and consultants. Junior doctors are running these departments due to the unavailability of senior doctors.
Patients are facing grave hardships due to the dearth of specialist doctors in the hospital, but the KMC administration’s and the Sindh government’s concerned authorities have failed to provide staff to the institution to improve patient care.
The financial crisis has affected almost every service of the healthcare facility, which once provided not only costly medicines free of cost but also food to its indoor patients. Currently, 40 percent of the diagnostic machines at the facility are lying out of order.
Director, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), Dr Salma Kauser, was not available to make any comments.