LAHORE - It is indeed gratifying to note that a number of private hospitals have been established in the provincial metropolis during last two decades or so. The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, in Jauhar Town, is one of them. Almost all of these hospitals in the private sector have been established by one or the other trust, peoples generous donations also playing an important role in their surfacing in different parts of the city. Prior to that, there was Ganga Ram Hospital set up and still being funded to a great extent by a private trust being run by the family of the late Sir Ganga Ram now living in India besides Mayo Hospital, Lady Wallingden Hospital, one or two more. With the rapid population growth, these hospitals started failing to cater to the health care needs of ever-increasing number of men, women and children suffering from sorts of ailments thus necessitating the dire need for more hospitals in both public and private sectors. And, it is also a matter of grave concern and worry that out of these private hospitals, those catering to the international standards, in more or less all respects, and providing quality health care service can easily be counted on fingers. Others leave much to be desired though the money they charge from the patients is quite enormous. Few days back, an elderly diabetic woman suffering from high fever was rushed to the hospital in the private sector in Shadman Colony. She was admitted and taken to the Intensive Care Unit for check up, diagnosis and treatment accordingly. The poor woman remained there for about four days, was subjected to numerous tests since the hospital has its own laboratory facility and still number of doctors attending to her could not properly diagnose as to from which disease she is suffering, what to talk about any treatment as such. Her family was left with no other option but to take her to some other private hospital as her condition was deteriorating. But they were allowed to shift her to another hospital only after payment of the bill which was indeed very high as it ran into five figures. And, this heavy amount was paid per forced circumstances by the family while the elderly diabetic womans real ailment was still far from being diagnosed, what to talk about treatment. A young man had carried his elderly father who was suffering from asthma and was a chain smoker as well to a private hospital in Model Town. Within hours of his father being admitted there, he had to pay several thousands of rupees for doctors fee, ICU charges (per hour) while still buying costly medicines, prescribed by the specialists, from his own pocket. As destined by Almighty Allah, his father expired there. He was just shocked and surprised when he was asked to pay Rs.9000 for taking body of his deceased father out of the hospital for burial. ........................................... Many large buses of different private companies are plying on inter-city routes for some months now after the authorities had ordered vans to go off the road. Condition of these private buses, in most cases, is just deplorable and very poor. Even, the air conditioned buses of a multi-national private company leave much to be desired. These private transport companies ply their buses on the allotted routes and as such face no competition and in fact enjoy monopolistic privilege. One such private company operates buses on just two routes. One of these routes is from Railway Station to Guru Mangat in Gulberg and other to Raiwind, which mostly remains in the news for Tableeghi Jamaat annual moots and now also due to location of the Sharif Family Farm there. Some passengers traveling in the private bus on its return journey from Gulberg to Railway Station noticed that the conductor has chipped out some money to the time keeper sitting at a companys terminal for keeping buses operational record. One of them called the conductor and asked why he had paid the money to the time keeper while he was not even the ticket checker. He said that the time keeper had demanded money on which he first paid him Rs.10 and then another note of same denomination on his insistence. He said that on coming from Railway Station terminal also he had paid Rs.20 to the time keeper. He said he has to indulge in hanky panky to offset this forced financial impact which is highly unjustified and about which no complaint is entertained by the company bosses who only want more and more money and nothing else. This is just one out of many instances of such kind, please. ........................................... Are we work-shirkers? If this pertinent question is put to this poor scribe then the prompt answer is Big Yes. Majority of the people in the government offices and even in the private concerns in rare cases are the work shirkers though the ratio may vary from individual to individual here and there. Work-shirkers in the sense that they by indulging in such luxury at the public expenses do not perform their assigned duties efficiently, sincerely and properly and while away their time on one excuse or the other. And, in this manner, hundreds of thousands of working hours are wasted in unproductive manner and willfully allowed to go down the drain every day. Coming late and leaving the office early is one typical exercise in which the work shirkers indulge besides gossiping with colleagues or chatting with friends or relatives on telephones thus adding to the phone bills which are paid out of the public exchequer. Father of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had left behind some of his golden principles and worth emulating advices. Out of these, mostly quoted every now and then are Unity, Faith and Discipline and Work, work and more work. As a matter of bitter fact, indeed, there is no unity, no faith, no discipline and also no work because of which our problems and grievances have multiplied over the years. Surely, we are the greatest time killers on this earth and there hardly many exceptions from top to the bottom, please.