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Mayo neurology dept ‘not admitting’ critical patients

LAHORE: Despite having sufficient funds, trained human resource and state-of-the-art infrastructure, the Neurology Department of Mayo Hospital is refusing to admit patients with critical brain-related diseases, including haemorrhage.

The refusal to treat patients considered a heinous crime in the medical profession is going unnoticed, an official privy to the information told Dawn.

The official said the 40-bed unit of the largest institute of the province refused nearly 10 patients a few days back who were brought to the emergency department of the hospital. After initial treatment and diagnosis, the patients were shifted to various other units, including medicine department, after the neurology department refused to admit them.

The official said doctors at the neurology ward refused the patients again when their colleagues from other wards sent them requests to shift the patients to their ward where 17 beds were lying vacant.

This practice has been observed since long as doctors of this department run private practice and no one take notice of their approach.

Established in 1963, the neurology department of Mayo Hospital is the largest and oldest in Punjab and has been catering to patients with serious brain-related diseases, including haemorrhage and paralysis.
Calls by emergency medics to assess, shift patients for treatment go unheeded

The official shared with Dawn the official record of 10 critical patients who were brought to the emergency department of the hospital a few days back. The patients included Rafique Ahmad, Mohammad Ashraf, Sher Mohammad, Nasir Ali, Sarwar Bashir, Mohammad Saeed, Arshad Ali and Liaqat Ali.

According to the record, the neurology department used delaying tactics to avoid patients.

“We have a patient, Rafique, 50 presented to us unconscious for the last two hours,” reads a request sent to the neurology department on Thursday night by Dr Sobia in the emergency unit.

She further mentioned on the call sheet that the CT Scan report of the patient showed Space Occupying Lesion (SOL). The SOL is any abnormal tissue found on or in an organism, usually damaged by a disease or trauma, the duty doctor said, adding that in some situations the diagnosis may be brain tumour.

“Thanks for the call. Review and manage the patient accordingly. Kindly repeat call in the morning,” reads the reply of the doctor who received the call at the neurology unit.

The reply shows that the recipient did not take interest in even visiting or assessing the patient who was awaiting treatment at a walking distance of the same hospital, the official lamented.

“We have an 80-year-old patient presented to us with a history of fall followed by loss of consciousness. Emergency resuscitation was done.”

“Other causes related to medicine and cardiology are ruled out. She has pin-point pupil,” reads another call sent by a duty doctor in the emergency ward.

The doctor asked the neurology department to assess and shift the patient there for proper care since the disease was not related to any other ward. The neurology department replied: “The emergency calls/consultation is done only on Thursday and Friday. For further opinion send call to medical unit on call.”

Identical replies by neurology department medics were given on request sheets sent by their colleagues in other units, including emergency department. The official also shared some facts regarding human resource, funds and infrastructure available at the neurology department that showed the cold behaviour of duty doctors towards poor patients.

He said the unit had a full-fledged faculty, including professor (Dr Athar Javed), two assistant professors (Dr Aysha Aslam and Dr Sadaf Iftikhar), senior registrar (Dr Ijaz Ahmad), an additional principal medical officer (Dr Ahmad Furqan), two neuro physicians (Dr Safia Bano and Dr Arslan Haider), nearly 12 postgraduate trainees and a long list of house officers.

About the infrastructure, he said a private non-governmental organisation had renovated and upgraded the unit at approximately Rs10 million a couple of years ago, converting it into a state-of-the-art and fully furnished department of the institute. It also possessed modern surgical equipment besides all necessary facilities to entertain patients.

Mayo Hospital Chief Executive Asad Aslam said they had issued a circular already that stated that if beds were temporarily unavailable, a patient could be shifted to another ward but brought back to the original ward once a bed was prepared.

He further said that if a bed was available and call for a patient was sent and received and even then a patient was not admitted, this was a sheer negligence.

He said he would call a meeting of the medicine and neurology departments today (Saturday) to investigate the alleged negligence and fix responsibility.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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