Government Leprosy Hospital, located on the banks of Nigeen Lake, which was built to treat leprosy patient, has now been rendered to a primary health centre owing to the lackadaisical attitude of the government. The hospital is running short of life saving drugs like insulin causing immense hardships to the leper patients.
Notably, there are many patients living in the area who are diabetic and some are even suffering from heart ailments. Such patients, according to the hospital officials, are in need of insulin, which the government is not making available in the hospital.
The hospital is currently dependent on an individual who has been providing the hospital with the supply of insulin as an act of charity for many years, and if that person stops the supply, the hospital will be left ‘high and dry’.
“The government is providing us with the medicines that we need. But insulin and other specialty medicines which these patients usually need are not made available,” said Dr Yasmeen, Medical Officer, Leprosy Hospital.
Interestingly, the hospital is the just for the name referred to as hospital, the condition narrates that it cannot be even termed as Primary Health Centre. Not even a single test is being done at the hospital, apart from Blood Sugar Test.
“Even the Glucometer which is used for the test has been provided by some Non-Governmental Organization (NGO),” said an orderly in the hospital.
Sources reveal that against the two posts for doctors at the hospital, only a single doctor has been stationed here, the second one, after the appointment was transferred to some other place.
During night hours, in case of emergency, there is no one stationed at the hospital to take care of patients. The patients are referred to nearby hospitals like SMHS or SKIMS for the treatment in the ambulance which is available 24 hours.
“We don’t treat emergency cases at the hospital during night hours, however, the patients are referred immediately for further treatment to nearby hospitals,” said Dr. Yasmeen.
Locals are demanding upgradation of the hospital where all the facilities will be available so that it can cater to the needs of residents of leper colony, including those living in the adjoining areas.
“Why can’t the government upgrade this hospital so that we are benefited, including those who are living in our neighbourhood,” said Abdul Rahim, who is living in the colony since past 20 years.
The hospital is functioning in the building which is in ruins, with no face-lifting done from last several decades. Though the government has built new quarters for the residents who were living in the age old quarters, little importance is being given to the health care situation in the area. The patients living there have already coped up with the ailment of leprosy and require extra care. Given their health condition, it seems difficult for them to travel to some other hospitals for treatment, even after the availability of ambulance.
“I and my wife are leprosy patients, I have recovered, but my wife is yet to recover,” said Muhammad Shaban, whose wife, apart from being a leprosy patient, is suffering from high blood sugar and heart ailments.
Muhammad Shaban has to frequently take his wife for treatment at SKIMS, “her wounds continuously bleed, and really it is difficult to take her out in such a condition,” he said, adding that what wrong it would be to set up a good hospital in the colony. “I am not asking for something big, I am just demanding better health care facilities.”
“They (Govt) are providing us almost everything, but the health care is itself ailing. It is like giving us food for free, but depriving us of oxygen,” said disheartened Muhammad Shaban.