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June 25, 2019

BBH working to ensure senior doctors’ cover at emergency


June 25, 2019

Rawalpindi: The administration of Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) is working out strategies to ensure senior level doctors’ medical cover for all patients at its emergency department round the clock though the task has never been accomplished ideally in almost any of the public sector hospitals in the region.

We have asked senior registrar level doctors from all concerned departments to remain available to patients at emergency department round the clock, said Medical Superintendent at BBH Dr. Rafiq Ahmed while talking to ‘The News’ on Monday.

He added that he has directed senior level doctors to remain physically present in the emergency department and to ensure their presence, he is working out a regular and effective monitoring. He said he has started making rounds in the hospital in evening and on holidays to assess what can be done to accommodate patients further in emergency and in wards.

During the round to the hospital emergency department on Sunday, I found that there is a need of strict checking for physical presence of senior level doctors in emergency to avoid negligence, he said.

He added that in a recent visit to the BBH, the Punjab health minister has also directed the hospital administration to ensure senior level medical cover to all patients in evening and night shifts as has been provided in the morning shift.

It is commonly witnessed that in the evening and night shifts, senior level doctors are not available to patients at the accident and emergency departments of almost all public sector hospitals in the region. Majority of patients reaching public sector hospitals in evening and night complain of absence of senior doctors and a number of negligence cases by junior doctors are reported in evening and night shifts.

In the past, a number of senior doctors serving in administrations of public sector hospitals have expressed to ‘The News’ that making physical presence of senior doctors possible round the clock at hospitals is a difficult task due to one or the other reason.

Dr. Rafiq said he is going to make physical presence of senior registrar level doctors mandatory at the emergency department of the hospital in all three shifts, morning, evening and night.

It is important that in 2004 when Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was the chief minister in Punjab, ‘Strengthening Emergency and Medical Services (SEMS) 2004’ programme was implemented at the public sector hospitals in the province including allied hospitals in town. According to SEMS, Senior Registrars from all departments particularly surgery, gynecology and medicine were bound to remain available to emergency patients round the clock by being present within the hospital premises, as they were not allowed to leave premises of the hospital during duty hours. The SEMS protocol remained intact but its implementation has been followed poorly.

Dr. Rafiq, however, said he would not allow senior registrars to leave premises of the hospital during duty hours. The hospital administration is working on developing regular monitoring system at the emergency departments and in wards as well, he said.

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