Heatstroke victims suffer as authorities bat no eye | Pakistan Today

Heatstroke victims suffer as authorities bat no eye

–Patients complain of improper treatment at govt-run hospitals

–Health dept spokesman says ‘situation under control’

LAHORE: Amidst the heatwave that has taken over the entire province for the past couple of weeks, not even a single hospital of the metropolis or any other city is prepared to deal with heatstroke patients across Punjab, Pakistan Today has learnt.

Despite an alert being issued to all the hospitals and authorities concerned by the Punjab Health Department, keeping in view the rising temperature and situation being faced by the people of Karachi, no preventive measure to treat heatstroke victims have been taken.

While the alert directed immediate necessary measures for the prevention and treatment of heat exhaustion and to create awareness among public, it also directed ensuring the availability of all the required medicines and logistics to manage heatstroke cases. However, the hospitals have failed to keep in place any of the arrangements advised by the competent authority and hundreds of patients rushing to the hospitals are seen complaining about improper treatment while the government and authorities concerned remain ignorant.

Shoaib Ahmad, a heatstroke patient told Pakistan Today that he visited Services Hospital on Monday where the doctors prescribed him medicines for diarrhea and he felt no better. “My family then took me to a private clinic where the doctor diagnosed a heatstroke,” he added.

Visiting any public sector hospitals in the metropolis, it can be observed that not even a single hospital has established any special counters to facilitate the heatwave victims. Moreover, no special rooms have been spared for any such patients either.

A doctor at the Services Hospital speaking to this scribe on the condition of anonymity said that no special training had been given to the doctors or the paramedical staff so far. He said the cases of gastroenteritis, sunstroke, high-grade fever and allergies were at rise owing to the extremely hot weather and added that for the past two weeks, a large number of patients were visiting hospitals on account of such health problems besides flu and dehydration.

“Due to the large number of patients and lack of facilities, it is hard to treat them properly,” he said, adding that due to the unavailability of a separate room, no special care could be provided to such patients either. “The situation may worsen if the heatwave persists,” he said.

Repeated attempts were made to contact Punjab Healthcare Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique but he was not available, however, Health Department spokesman Akhlaq Khan said the situation was “under control” and the heatwave in Lahore was not as deadly as the one in Karachi. “We have trained doctors and paramedical staff who are ready to deal with any emergency situation,” he maintained.

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