Establish freestanding ERs to cater corona virus patients: Altaf Shakoor

Karachi:    Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor here Wednesday demanded to set up freestanding emergency rooms in every town of the megacity Karachi to cater corona virus patients.

In a statement, he said it is sad that that government hospital near NIPA Chowrangi is yet to be completed despite lapse of many years. He demanded to immediately set up a freestanding emergency center in the building of NIPA hospital, besides opening free standing ERs in every locality of the megacity. He said Karachi with only three government hospitals to deal with trauma care is a nightmare for the patients with emergency treatment needs during corona virus season, and the megacity urgently needs at least half a dozen of freestanding ERs in different localities to save lives.

He said as a few private hospitals with trauma care facilities are very costly and out of reach of common man; resultantly, the whole load of emergency and trauma care of the megacity falls on the shoulders of three major government hospitals, Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), which now burst at the seams.

He regretted that many critically injured patients being shifted from far-flung suburban areas to these hospitals simply die on the way. He said it needs about one hour to shift a patient from Bin Qasim or Landhi area to the JMPC and a critically injured patient could hardly survive while the ambulance covers this distance.

Altaf Shakoor said to cope with this dilemma, all megacities of the world set up freestanding ERs in different corners. These facilities, though not directly linked to major hospitals, have all arrangements available including operation theaters to deal with emergency and trauma cases. These facilities are established in far-away localities of the respective cities so that in case of any mishap a patient needing emergency care should be given it within shortest possible span of time. He said wastage of hours just to shift critically patients from suburban areas to tertiary-care hospitals situated in downtown areas is not only senselessness but also a plain cruelty.

Altaf Shakoor demanded to establish freestanding ERs in suburban areas of the megacity, especially along highways, motorway and major roads. He reminded that in past the Sindh government had constructed a modern emergency trauma center near Safoora Goth to facilitate the critically injured people in case of road accident along the Superhighway. For this project even foreign loans were obtained, but when this multi-storied building was constructed it was given to a private party where now a Memon Medical Institute is being run on commercial basis.

He said sadly our rulers are limiting access to government hospitals of people to ensure a thriving business for private hospitals. He said similarly a government hospital near NIPA Chowrangi is not being completed despite expiry of its completion date by several years, because some private hospital of the area fear that this hospital if completed and run will reduce their business and profit margins. He said another case is the hospital of Sindh police department in Garden area Karachi. The Sindh government send the policemen injured in encounters and mishaps to a very costly private hospital, while if this government spend only half of the annual bill of this private hospital to upgrade the Police Hospital Garden Karachi, it could easily become amongst the most modern emergency and trauma care centers of the province.

Altaf Shakoor demanded to upgrade Qatar hospital of Orangi, besides government hospitals of Korangi, Landhi and Malir Saudabad Malir as teaching hospitals. He urged the Sindh assembly members to bring and pass a bill on urgent basis for establishment of freestanding ERs in megacity Karachi.

He said the major hospitals like the JPMC, CHK and ASH, can also following suit of the NICVD Karachi that has opened chest pain centers in different areas of the megacity, can set up a few emergency trauma care centers in different parts of the megacity and it would certainly reduce very high mortality rate of traffic accidents in Karachi.

Altaf Shakoor also demanded recruiting all jobless doctors and paramedics on emergency basis. He also demanded to make the PMDC functional on emergency basis by handing administrative control of the PMDC to army immediately.

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