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Thatta hospitals face acute shortage of medicines

Following an acute shortage of life-saving drugs, routine medicines and other consumables, clashes between attendants of patients and administrations have become a matter of routine at all four major health facilities of Thatta District, including the Civil Hospital.

Minute Mirror has learned that there is an acute paucity of drugs at these hospitals, putting the lives of the patients at risk. Five years ago, the administrative control of these hospitals was taken over by an NGO – Medical Emergency Resilience Foundation – under a public-private partnership initiated by the Sindh government.

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The partnership was abolished last year but the Sindh government asked the NGO to continue holding administrative control of the hospitals without issuing funds to them. An official of MERF, on condition of anonymity, told Minute Mirror that the shortage of funds has compelled them to suspend the supply of medicine to these health facilities as the provincial government has not so far released funds to do away with the lingering scarcity of drugs.

Muhammad Bachal Chandio, a patient’s attendant, said that they had arrived at the hospital hoping that their disease would be treated. They did get some relief but since there was no medicine at the hospital they had been asked by the hospital administration to arrange it themselves. However, it was too expensive for them to purchase.

Meanwhile, protests against the shortage of medicine continued on the fourth consecutive day at the Rural Health Center of Taluka Gorabari, District Thatta. The protesters, which included paramedical staff members and the general public, were carrying placards demanded swift provision of medicine and life-saving drugs as the number of gastro and diarrhea patients is on the surge in the area. The medical superintendent of the hospital, Dr. Sajid Sheikh, said that the hospital was facing an emergency-like situation and steps should be taken to ward off the ongoing crisis of medicine.

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