‘I’d rather die of illness than burn in this hell’


Fighting for survival in the newly-renovated Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Emergency Ward, the patients are facing another kind of a problem but on a common front – heat and humidity.
In the absence of any air conditioning in the ward and the summer season approaching its peak, not only the patients but also the hospital staffers are perturbed by the unbearable situation.
Costing Rs 60 million, the newly-renovated JPMC Emergency Ward was inaugurated by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on April 22.
Though the department’s head and JPMC Deputy Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali admitted that some work was still in progress at the department, which included setting up a security barrier, a guard room and a checkpoint for keeping an eye on the movement of people, she forgot to mention that there was no air conditioning system had been set up in both emergency wards – separate for males and females.
Speaking with Pakistan Today, a patient named Mehboob Jan, 67, requested this reporter to take him out of the hospital. “I’d rather die of illness than burn in this hell,” he said.
Another patient, Soni, 43, said that he was already suffering severely from a disease but the humidity [inside the ward] ‘would kill me before my illness does.’
A patient’s attendant named Muhammad Ismail had arrived at the hospital with his ailing mother from Landhi. “I cannot stand at her bedside due to the heat inside the ward,” he told this scribe.
Another attendant, Saeed, was standing in the corridor outside the ward with his mother.
“Due to extreme humidity inside the wards, I could not stay inside for more than 10 minutes that’s why I came out. She [mother] is feeling nervous inside the emergency ward,” he complained.
A female paramedic requesting anonymity said that she could not understand why the hospital administration had inaugurated the emergency ward before its completion.
“She [Jamali] has placed us in hell while she herself enjoys the comfort of her air-conditioned room,” she said, “This is our job; hence, we have to bear this heat. God willing we would be get an air conditioning system soon.”
Dr Nasir – a friend of this reporter – claimed that the emergency ward has conducive environment for the growth of harmful microbes that can cause many diseases. “I am unable to understand this unwise step of the JPMC authorities,” he added. While taking photographs of the emergency ward, a senior ward boy ordered this correspondent to delete the pictures as photography inside the wards was not allowed by the hospital.
On refusal, the man returned after a few minutes with some security guards who asked the reporter to immediately leave the premises. Even after coming out of the ward, a Pakistan Rangers officer followed the scribe and asked him to delete the photographic evidence.


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