Pakistan Medical Association opposes suspension of senior professors

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has reacted strongly to the decision made by the Punjab government to suspend senior professors in the aftermath of the death of Zohra Bibi who breathed her last in the corridors of Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital on 2nd January.

The health department suspended Jinnah Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Zafar Yusuf, Professors Jawad Zaheer and Tanveer-ul-Islam of the Post Graduate Medical Institute and Lahore General Hospital and Professor Zafar Iqbal of Allama Iqbal Medical College and Jinnah hospital as news of the death of Zohra Bibi on the floors of Jinnah Hospital went viral in the media.

“There is a strong resentment among medical professionals as very senior and respected professors were held responsible of the death of Zohra Bibi,” Professor Dr Ajmal Hasan Naqvi, PMA Lahore Chapter President said while talking to media persons on Wednesday. According to the professor, the doctors’ community completely rejects the attempt of the health department to tarnish the image of respected professors of thousands of doctors and urged the department to take back the decision.

The office bearers of the PMA said that the poor healthcare facilities of public sector hospitals increase the doctors’ workload manifold. “The government needs to build six more hospitals of the standard of Jinnah Hospital to cater to the mushrooming growth of this city,” Dr Naqvi said.

“The emergencies and ICUs of public sector hospitals are flooded with patients and the staff of emergency ward extremely occupied with their work,” he added.

The PMA further added that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), only four patients can be treated during a day in one bed of the emergency with an average of 6 hours. As per the standard of WHO, only 400 patients can be treated in the emergency of 100 beds during a day but it is a matter of fact that four to five thousand patients come to the emergencies of public sector hospitals on a daily basis.

“The Professor Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry ward in Jinnah Hospital consists of 50 beds but was accommodating more than 100 patients already when Zohra Bibi was brought to his ward. How is it possible to attend all the patients with such limited resources? As per the WHO, there must be 1 bed for a population of 750 but there is only one bed for a population of 6273 in Punjab,” Dr Naqvi said and added that the government and bureaucracy are responsible for the death of Zohra Bibi.

According to regulations of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), all private hospitals are bound to provide half of their beds to poor patients. Zohra Bibi was allegedly denied treatment in Arif Memorial Teaching Hospital and Rashid Latif Medical College.

A committee constituted by the PMDC will submit its report on the matter on January 13.