I heard so many times about the worst condition of government hospitals but never considered it a serious issue—till my own visit to a hospital few weeks back.
It’s not like that as it was my first visit to a hospital, yet it was my first visit without any family member. There was a sea of people and I let myself to paddle with that mass as there was only one entrance door to hospital. When I entered the hospital an ill odor welcomed me. An important thing about this odor is that you will come across it in any government hospital in Pakistan. As I was suffering from fever I started searching for the section where to get check up. At first I though no one is guiding me but soon I realize majority of staff around was insulting people if they asked for help.
Wondering through different corridors I met a lady who was also a patient she told me where to go and what to do. I went to voucher section and pushed myself into a line to get that piece of paper on which my name was printed wrong and when I asked her what you have done, she replied you came here for medical checkup or for pedigree. After getting my voucher I moved to the specific section for checkup. While walking through different corridors I saw so many patients lying on the floor in a miserable condition waiting for their turn to get their medical checkup or to be admitted. Many were admitted but as there were no empty beds in the wards, patients were forced to lie on the floor in different corridors. For those who got beds luckily were mandatory to accommodate two other people with them—sometimes may be three. Therefore, one bed was serving 2 to 3 people simultaneously. While wandering around and observing such wretchedness reached the specific section I was searching. The corridor was full of people and the doctor was not there because “it’s tea break” as told by the staff member standing on the doctor’s door. It was 12:35 pm. While waiting for the doctor’s arrival I started talking to an old woman sitting next to me. She told me that she got her medical but she did not receive any medicine from the hospital and has only 30 rupees with her. She had to travel back to her area and it will cost 20 rupees. All the medicines written were expensive. She can hardly speak URDU and told me in her broken sentences that she wants to request the doctor—as mistakenly I came to hospital today please write some medicines which I can get from hospital. She said I will not come here again all these hospitals are for rich people. While listening to her all those corridor scenes quickly came to my mind and I trembled with fear.
Meanwhile the doctor came back and it was 1:10 pm. Patients were called on their turn to be examined by the doctor. When my name was announced it was 1:40 pm. As I entered doctor said come quick and tell what is the problem. By the time I told I am suffering from high fever the doctor had already prescribed the medicine. He gave me that piece of paper and said have balanced diet and sleep well—NEXT. I came out and had a look on his prescription, the paper was full of medicine names and I was unable to read a single name. Moving out of the corridor I heard staff members shouting , “time is over came back tomorrow” I turned to the voice was coming and noticed that there were nearly 40 to 50 patients still waiting for their turn. I went to hospital’s medical store; the store man put a small cross behind 4 medicines and a tick on 5th one and gave me Panadol tables and said go down in the basement and buys the rest.
While coming out of hospital hardheartedly I tore the prescription and put it in a nearby trash bin. The next day I went to a private hospital everything was neat and clean, staff was very helping the doctor spent nearly 25 to 30 minutes just to know the cause of fever then I got my medicines. I came to know that, majority of the doctors and staff serving, is from the government hospital which I had visited yesterday. While paying on the counter I thought of that old lady and people lying on floors for a minute and came out with a feelings that were worst than I had yesterday.
With the hope that our doctors will do better and the government hospitals will have better conditions and facilities for patients some day. I am leaving everyone with the thought that if we cannot help anyone, still we can behave courteously.