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ABS hospital gasping without functional equipment

ABS hospital gasping without functional equipment

GUJRAT: Vital equipment and machinery including X-ray and ultrasound gadgets and echocardiography system at the Aziz Bhatti Shaheed (ABS) Hospital have been out of order for long.

At least 1,800 patients visit the hospital daily from Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and other areas but they have to take recourse to private hospitals for medical tests which charge heavily.

The ABS hospital was declared a teaching hospital of the Nawaz Sharif Medical College (NSMC) on May 15, 2014 after which the transfer and posting of the medical superintendent is a prerogative of the provincial health secretary. However, the provincial and local authorities have been facing problems in tackling issues of the hospital as its equipment remains out of order.

Even the patients welfare association (of the hospital) has provided funds for the repair of machinery and equipment on numerous occasions.

Sources said a number of senior officials including special assistant to chief minister Manshaullah Butt had paid surprise visits in the last couple of weeks and expressed serious concern over the cleanliness and administrative matters of the hospital.

They said the district government had sought removal of ABS Medical Superintendent Dr Muhammad Shabbir Sipra for his failure to improve the situation despite repeated warnings and directions from the higher authorities.

The DCO had sent a report to the provincial health secretary regarding the performance of the hospital administration which, among other things, recommended that the MS be removed and district medico-legal officer Dr Tahir Abbas Gondal given the charge for at least six months initially.

It said Dr Gondal had a vast experience of handling the issues of the ABS hospital.

Now, the provincial government has transferred Dr Sipra and replaced him with Dr Gondal who was given the charge of the MS on Monday.

Dr Gondal told Dawn on Tuesday that soon after taking charge he had convened a meeting of the staff in which the repair and maintenance of machinery and equipment was top agenda item. He said the issues of hospital had become very complicated which would take time to solve.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2015

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