THE Eid holidays, the time for festivity, turned out to be a nightmare for the large number of patients seeking treatment in city hospitals. One new-born baby died as no doctor was available at Mitford Hospital to attend him in the evening before Eid Day. And many patients, in desperate need of emergency medicare, suffered due to shortage of doctors at the DMCH and other hospitals.
Whatever the hospital authorities might say to defend themselves, the plain truth is that our doctors are not always imbued with a strong sense of commitment to serving patients, particularly when a holiday mood sets in during festivals. The doctors tend to forget that their noble profession offers little scope for such a slackening of their motivation to attend to patients in distress under all circumstances, regardless of time and place.
Nothing can be more regrettable if people do not get the needed service in a hospital only because everybody is celebrating Eid. The photograph published in this newspaper on October 6, which shows how lay persons were trying to stitch a wound, certainly brought shame to the doctors and nurses not found at the DMCH when the patient was admitted. It was a disgrace to the hospital itself.
It is a common sight in our hospitals that the relatives of a patient are completely dumbfounded by the extremely unsympathetic behaviour of doctors and nurses. And things worsen further when doctors and nurses start behaving even more irresponsibly during long holidays.
The problem is not new. But the hospital authorities should have put some contingency measures in place during Eid holidays. Clearly, things must improve and the hospitals have to deliver what is expected of them -- uninterrupted services even during holidays. Perhaps it is time to have a fresh look at the whole issue of hospital management -- a highly specialised subject in the modern world. The hospitals must provide emergency services in a planned way, taking into account the festivals and all such occasions. For, the failure to provide services on any pretext is absolutely unacceptable.
The incidents of death in hospitals during holidays should be probed and those responsible held to account for their lapses.