The resemblance was uncanny. Although it was a private hospital one would find it very hard to set it differentiate it from a civil hospital. Located in Garden Saddar it wasn’t hard to make out that the hustle bustle was of the patients who belonged to the lower strata of Karachi’s status Hierarchy. I weaved my way through the crowded lobby only to find myself standing with no place to sit. Too many patients’ too little seats. So the demon of scarcity has hit the hospitals too. After grabbing a seat, luckily, I began to wait. I was patient no. 27.
While waiting several myths about the practices of the doctors at the hospitals proved to be true. As I gazed around I noticed the bright shiny Plaques carrying the names of the doctors followed by a tiny font saying “Civil”. Yep! There you go! Government appointed doctors to whom private practice is illegal are found sitting comfortably in their plush chairs with absolutely no threat of being held accountable for their unprofessional attitude and illegal actions, minting money day and night.
Flashing their PDA’S and designer handbags I noticed these certain individuals standing out from the rest of the crowd. But it didn’t take me long to realize that they were the advocates of the big rip-offs in the name of pharmaceutical companies cashing the helplessness of patients in to insane amounts of money with the help of these dignified medical personnel of the hospital by luring them with sponsored trips aboard, a new car or even cash depending upon the credentials, popularity of the doctor or hospital and the usage/dosage of the drug.
The endless wait had taken its toll over me, it felt as if I was standing in a queue at the utility store once again. And finally I deciphered the mystery of why the queue was stuck at patient number 21.The “parchi” phenomenon was taking place in front of my eyes .Contacts, is not a term only relevant to our educational, political or government system but is commonly practiced at the hospitals as well. Although after arguing with the person in charge (I guess the only was possible to get your point across)
I was showed my way in only to realize that the doctor sitting behind the desk was a filthy con as well but he was kind enough to spare me 5 minutes of his time and that too without paying 100% attention and charging me Rs. 800 for it. Yes I had been looted very suavely without even getting a hint of it.
So yes it’s true. The noble “oh so decorous” profession of medicine has been struck yet again by our country old friend ‘Corruption’.
Well what I am ranting about is the despicable condition of the hospitals in Karachi and this just Karachi the urban jewel of Pakistan god knows what goes on in the other cities and in the rural areas.
I pity these individuals and institutions who make a choice of compromising their own integrity and the dignity of their profession and of course the of course the helpless people who are victimized.
P.S.: My sympathies to all those who have fallen prey to the mistreatment of doctors, paramedics, hospitals and the pharmaceutical companies