The Lahore General Hospital (LGH) became dysfunctional as water from the adjoining areas accumulated at its premises causing closure of its emergency ward and all the operation theatres on the ground floors of the Hospital on Friday.
By the midnight, the water level in the hospital was about 2-3 feet. "The Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA) has provided two water pumps, but one is out of order while the other is very small to flush such a huge quantity of water," said an LGH high official on seeking anonymity. "Six water pumps of the Hospital are also dysfunctional out of which two were recently installed. It will take at least two days to flush the water," he said. "It is a classic example of negligence on the part of the Communication and Works Department that we are facing such a situation in one of the major hospitals of the city, which receives neurotrauma patients from across the Punjab," he said.
There seem to be no contingency plan as even this short-span rain has destroyed the functioning of the hospital. "The staff and relatives of the patients are facing huge problems as they have to wade through the contaminated water to reach their patients. The ground floors of all the wards, except the new block, have ankle deep water to its lowest level. All the operation theatres, and CT Scan and X-ray department are submerged in water," the source revealed.
Though the administration has made a temporary arrangement for emergency patients, but it is almost impossible to reach the temporary emergency ward established in the verandah of the Orthopaedic Ward "as vehicles will get stuck up in water, people prefer to move to other hospitals instead of suffering here more. By this yardstick, the claim of the Medical Superintendent is rightly placed if he said that there were no referrals to other hospitals," he said. "It will take at least two more days to bring the machinery, and wards back to their functional routine," he said.
Quite a large number of patients opted to go to other hospitals after seeing water in the LGH though the administration denies any referrals. "We have not referred even a single patient to other hospitals and have made arrangements for the emergency patients at the new block. If any patient has gone to the other hospitals, this they have done with their own choice," said the LGH Medical Superintendent Dr. Ijaz Shaikh. "Only the operation theatres of eye, neurosurgery and gynaecology departments have been adversely affected by the water. The rest are functional. As far CT Scan machine is concerned, it remained unaffected, and we have just closed it for today," said the MS. "The WASA authorities are cooperating with us and the hospital will be fully functional from tomorrow, as the situation is well under control," he asserted.
On the other hand, the basements of the Services Hospital, and the newly-constructed emergency ward of Sir Ganga Ram were filled with rainwater.