RAWALPINDI - The administrations of two Allied Hospitals (AHs) are facing difficulties to deal with an extra influx of patients arriving from Islamabad and slums for getting emergency health care because of closure of road and extra ordinary security measures in the capital on the part of government to tackle political turmoil.

The government and law enforcement agencies have blocked all the roads and ways leading to federal capital by placing containers to thwart workers of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Isnaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) from reaching and joining the sit-ins in the red zone.

The doctors, nurses and other paramedical staffers of Holy Family Hospital (HFH) and Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) told The Nation on Saturday that their workload increased significantly after influx of patients, belonging to Islamabad and its suburbs, who were arriving in the hospitals because of the closure of ways leading to Pims and Poly Clinic.

They said that the hospital managements were hardly managing the extra influx of patients. Those patients who succeeded in getting medical treatment could not get free medicines from hospital pharmacy and they had to buy medicines from other pharmacies.

On the other hand, the local patients and their attendants were also making complaints about shortage of doctors, medicines and beds in the emergency departments and OPDs in the two allied hospitals.

Dr Abid Mehmood Butt, Chief Dental Surgeon and Head of Department of Dentistry at BBH, while talking to The Nation, said that the numbers of patients increased in BBH after closure of roads in Islamabad by the government to stop political opponents from joining sit-ins being staged by PTI and PAT.

"There are so many patients coming from Islamabad and its suburbs for medical treatment here because of road closures and extra ordinary security measures," Dr Abid said, adding that the paramedical staff could not treat all the patients with full care.

Another senior doctor at HFH was of view that many patients were locking to HFH for medical treatment after closure of roads in Islamabad. "Emergency and OPD visits of patients have risen since residents of Islamabad failed in reaching PIMS and Poly Clinic due to hurdles and barricades, placed by government" he said.

“We have brought in extra doctors and nurses for an influx of patients but the problem was shortage of medicines and other equipments such as beds and X-ray machines, operation tables and life saving medicines. We hardly provide medical treatment and other services to local people but arrival of patients from Islamabad putting us in trouble," he said.

He demanded of the government to provide the hospital management with more medicines and doctors to tackle with the situation. The situation in Emergency Department was worst than OPD, he said. Normally 2500 patients visit hospital but now days the number of visitors has reached to 4000.

The local patients, in the meanwhile, are facing hardships in getting medical treatment due to rush of visiting patients.

Shamsa Bibi, hailing from 6th Road and suffering with abdominal pain, said that she had been visiting HFH for last two days but could not get examined from any senior doctor. The reason for this delay was long queues of patients outside the room of senior doctor, she said, adding: "I came at 8am and waited in the queue till 2pm but all that was in vain.”

The other patients in BBH made similar kinds of complaints and demanded of the government to end political drama being staged in Islamabad by holding negotiations and to remove barricades from the roads so that people could go hospitals easily. The medical superintendents of BBH and HFH were not available for their comments.