The out-of-order CT scan machine at Rawalpindi District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) has forced patients at emergency wards to move to private laboratories for tests.
Many patients from Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum and other parts of Rawalpindi were being referred to DHQ Hospital for CT scan, but when they reach the hospital, they were being told that the facility was unavailable.
Sources said several doctors affiliated with DHQ Hospital were directing poor patients to undergo CT scan tests at private laboratories of their choice as they were “pocketing heavy commissions in this lucrative business”.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Muhammad Akbar, a patient said, “DHQ Hospital administration has miserably failed to sort out the problems being faced by patients who are coming from remote areas of Rawalpindi division”.
“Poor patients are being treated as second rate citizens in emergency wards,” he said.
Akbar said DHQ doctors had referred him to a private laboratory for CT scan where he had to pay Rs 5,000 rupees for an ordinary CT scan and Rs 10,000 for a contrast CT scan.
Another patient, Shamsher Ali said he came from Dewal Sharif village of Murree for the CT scan of his young five-year-old child.
“When I he reached the hospital, I was simply asked to go to a private laboratory or wait for a month as the request for changing the CT scan machine was lying pending with the Punjab government,” he said.
Despite several attempts, the medical superintendent (MS) of DHQ Hospital Dr Sher Ali Khan Niazi did not respond to the calls and messages of the scribe.
When the scribe called Dr Afzal Farooq, a principal of Allied Hospitals Rawalpindi, he hung up saying that he could hear the question properly.
Member National Assembly (MNA) Shakeel Awan said the CT scan machine of DHQ Hospital was over burdened by not only the patients of Rawalpindi, but also from three other districts of the division.
Muhammad Ali, a social worker, said the Punjab Government had consumed all health and education budget on the Metro Bus System in Lahore, and now the poor people of this province were suffering now.