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Nishtar Hospital faces shortage of life-saving drugs

By Our Correspondent
February 13, 2020

MULTAN: The Nishtar Hospital, which is serving patients not only from the south Punjab but also from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, is facing critical shortage of life-saving drugs.

The Nishtar Hospital wards are facing acute shortage of live saving drugs these days. The Pakistan Medical Association has announced launching a protest drive against the government for failure to pay proper heed to address the basic needs of the hospital. The scuffles between the patients’ attendants and doctors have become a routine matter over unavailability of medicines in wards. The Nishtar Medical Health University and the hospital is considered the prime health institution in the south Punjab, but still facing critical crisis of medicines and other facilities.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Medical Association Multan chapter president Prof Dr Masood Haraj while addressing a protest meeting held to discuss unavailability of medicines said that the patients were facing hardships in getting required medicines. The government was releasing limited funds to public sector hospital which was causing difficulties to serve the patients. While referring list of unavailable medicines at the Nishtar Hospital, he said that basic antibiotic medicines of flue, cough and chest infection were unavailable in the hospital wards. He told that the main injection was not available in the wards, which was a solution to infusion and it was short-term treatment of moderate pain, especially following surgery and for the short-term treatment of fever.

The medicines for the treatment of seizer and epilepsy were unavailable in the wards, which were the most common diseases, he lamented. Epilepsy was a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of awareness. Anyone can develop epilepsy. Epilepsy affects both males and females of all races, ethnic backgrounds and ages, he informed.

The medical staff was facing serious hardships in arranging basic medicines in each ward, he told. The oxygen masks were not available in the wards, he added. An oxygen mask provides a method to transfer breathing oxygen gas from a storage tank to the lungs, he continued. It was essential item used in hospital wards but not a single oxygen mask could be purchased after ending the stock, he said.

Senior physician Dr Zulqarnain Haidar said that Ivline, drip sets, heparin, RBS strip, glucose ampoules, toradol, urine bags, mask oxygen, nebulizer mask, tanzo, xylocaine gel, CBS vial, kinz and manitol were not available in the wards. The IV line used to give medicines and fluids to patients, he told. The RBS strips were the latest techniques for diabetic patients and testing diabetes but the most essential item was not available in the wards, he added.

The medicine Toradol was a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Toradol is used to treat moderate to severe pain, he said.

When contacted, Nishtar Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Shahid Bukhari refused to talk on the issue.