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Hospitals hold treatment till relatives of patients arrive
Karachi: It is the universally accepted medical ethics that hospitals start immediate medical treatment to emergency and trauma patients as soon as they are rushed in the emergency room, but sadly most hospitals, both government and private, hold medical treatment till the family members and friends reach there to buy medicines and supplies from private stores.
Recently, this scribe personally witnessed this sad episode as he was rushed to a nearby hospital along with another injured after a road accident. An unknown rickshaw driver was kind enough to pick the two injured men and rush them to the hospital and even refusing to charge any fare, but the first question asked by the emergency room staff was where your attendant is; if he is not here call him urgently. Meanwhile, a doctor was summoned who called for his senior, who came and wrote some x-rays and tests, but the real treatment started when the relatives of the scribe reached there are purchased the required medical supplies. Later, when the incharge of emergency department came there, who knew the scribe personally, a surgeon was immediately called and all procedures went smoothly. They also showed anger on why medical supplies were not drawn from the hospital store immediately and later their cost included in the bill instead of keeping an emergency patient waiting.
It is understood that the hospitals, especially the government hospitals, lack resources and supply due to low budgets or pilferage by corrupt elements, but every hospital should keep basic emergency supplies in their stores to start immediate treatment of trauma and emergency patients. They should not wait for the attendants to come and by bandages, stitches, needles and other basic things used in emergency rooms.
The government and philanthropists should liberally support emergency departments of all big hospitals to save lives. It is understood that a pedestrian, commuter or office goer does not have a few thousands of rupees extra cash in his pocket to meet his immediate medical expenses in case he meets some accident. It is the responsibility of the government to give at least emergency medical cover to its citizens. The hospitals and medical professionals should also realize their ethical duty of providing immediate aid to emergency patients irrespective of they are alone or accompanying an attendant, and having a ready cash or not.