Five days have passed but the heart-wrenching scenes at the Jinnah Hospital Lahore where most of the injured and dead of Sunday’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park bombing were ferried to do not seem to lessen – mainly because of hurdle in treatment from the protocol of VVIPs and political dignitaries.
During the visits of VVIPs, even doctors are banned from performing their duties in the wards, compounding the miseries of patients, let alone the injured of the park blast.
“At present, at least 60 injured persons, including children, are under treatment at the hospital, and the visits of VVIPs for photo sessions create various problems for both patients and doctors,” said Dr Adnan Gondal, the president of Young Doctors’ Association (YDA), adding that “doctors are not allowed to round their wards during such visits”.
Over the past four days, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Pakistan People’s Party Chief Bilawal Bhutto, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and many other prominent political leaders visited the hospital to inquire after the injured, making it difficult for the doctors and nursing staff to attend the wounded in a timely and proper manner.
“These political leaders must keep themselves away from the hospital and let us do our work attentively,” Gondal said as recalled that one of the injured persons Inayat Ali, who was being shifted from one ward to the other, was stranded in the open corridor for half an hour when Bilawal Bhutto came to the hospital the other day.
Nevertheless, a formal visit to the hospital by Pakistan Today revealed that financial assistance cheques have not been distributed among all the injured.
“I have not received my cheque yet,” said Sajid Shabbir whose left leg was fractured in the blast.
“The government never fulfills its promises whenever such an incident takes place. They just make void promises,” said Asghar Ali, the attendant of another injured.
Not surprisingly, Chief Minister’s Adviser on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique claimed that financial assistance had been given to all the injured of the blast. According to him, a cheque of Rs 300,000 each was given to those seriously injured, while those with minor injuries received a cheque of Rs 150,000 each.
The ward where the injured of the bombing are getting treatment presents a horrific picture. Of many children fighting the battle of life at the hospital, Shiza, 8, a student of grade two is one. With a chocolate in her hand, she looks at her father with a meaningful sight as if she wants to say something but cannot do so because of severe pain in her leg she received shrapnel to.