–Hospital faces a shortage of paramedical, janitorial staff
–Seepage causing damage to the hospital’s infrastructure
–MS Dr Asif Iqbal says admin is currently looking into the matter
LAHORE: The 25-bed tehsil-level Government Hospital Samanabad Lahore continues to lag behind schedule and has failed miserably in achieving its set objectives despite immense spending on the project, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
Sources told this scribe that the hospital project was started on June 30, 2012, with an aim to ensure the provision of state-of-the-art health facilities for the locals. Although the project was set to end on July 12, 2016, and ample funds were released for this purpose timely, the project could not achieve its set targets.
“The project aimed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals 4 & 5. While remarkable gains have been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, under-five mortality rate and maternal mortality rate worldwide, the health system of the city still lags behind as the hospital not only faces a shortage of relevant staff but paediatricians and consultants are not available either,” sources said.
“The project also aimed to decrease morbidity and mortality due to the negligence of the authorities but no comprehensive data sheet has been prepared in this regard. Contrary to its goal of providing specialised care, only basic health facilities are available at the hospital,” sources added.
Sources also said that the absence of paediatricians has also halted the progress of the project’s agenda of reducing measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and infant mortality rate through the provision of better maternal and child health services.
According to a report issued by Directorate General Monitoring and Evaluation (DGM&E), there is a serious issue of seepage in the hospital building which has damaged the hospital’s infrastructure.
“Tiles in the washroom are dispatched and a crack has also been observed in the marble floor at the entrance. Pipes for the air conditioning system have not been installed properly. Quality of the infrastructure is poor which is evident from the cracks in the walls of the building. These cracks can spread and further damage the building. The columns provided in the basement are rectangular in shape while the columns in basement or parking areas should be circular in shape because circular columns improve the sight vision,” the report stated.
“The hospital has no ambulance although mentioned in PC-1. The medical superintendent (MS) informed that the ambulance services were handed over to Rescue 1122 as per government’s directives in all public hospitals of Punjab. The dustbin in the main entrance lobby was found to be broken and had not been cleaned. At the time of observation, a rush was seen in the sampling area, signifying a lack of order. Cotton used for collection of blood samples was not properly disposed of. In the X-Ray department, the notice was placed in English instead of Urdu, thus making it harder for the local patients to understand what was written on it. The LEDs installed at certain areas of the hospital were found to be non-operational. There was congestion in the pathology department and files were stacked in cabinets adjacent to sample storage. The wash basin placed in the said department was in poor condition with two rods being rusty. Urine samples were found open, signifying that no proper disposal techniques were being used. Spelling mistakes were also observed in notices in the labour area or the X-Ray department. Gowns and gloves were not worn by paramedics, signifying a lack of hygiene. The curtains for separating patient beds were found to be untidy and blood stains were found on the curtains in the general female ward,” the report added.
DGM&E suggested that the concerns raised in the report should be addressed as soon as possible, particularly the issue regarding increasing seepage.
“The cracks in the building should be repaired as soon as possible. Also, keeping in view the exorbitant increase in the count of patients, staff should be increased, specifically janitorial staff, to ensure cleanliness and hygiene in the hospital along with doctors and paramedics to address patients’ issues effectively. Absenteeism should be discouraged. The pathology department should increase the space to effectively manage records and samples. SOPs should be placed in each department and mobile phone usage should be strictly prohibited, especially in the hospital’s emergency,” the report stated.
Pakistan Today reached out to hospital’s MS Dr Asif Iqbal for a comment, who said that the administration was looking into the matter.
“Most of the issues are related to the building’s infrastructure which was the responsibility of the building department. I will write to them to resolve the issues as soon as possible,” he said.