A good hospital is what every sick patient requires and in a developing country such as Pakistan it is hard to come across so many.
Where there is not just a falling infrastructure but also lack of qualified human resource, this makes it difficult to take care of the ailing patients. Therefore, thousands of children die while waiting for their turn to be treated and for many because they live in areas where there is no medical infrastructure or knowledge they die of ignorance from those who can help them.
One of the biggest public hospitals in Lahore is always over-crowded, patients can’t find beds and the doctors and medical staff is always outnumbered by the number of patients. Its cardiology ward smells extremely bad and looks as if it has never been cleaned, lack of hygiene adds to the conditions of the patients to worsen with time. The lack of medical equipment is not unusual, mothers and grandmothers pumping oxygen manually into tubes attached to new-born babies is a normal sight at the hospital. As there aren’t enough cots, mothers are made to wait in makeshift benches and beds. In a scenario like this who has any hope that a patient visiting the hospital will recover.
Heart Patients problem and its symptoms are growing. Pakistan is among one of those countries who have the highest rates of cardiac health diseases (heart diseases) in the world, between 40-50,000 children are born with heart defects each year. A leading heart surgeon Professor Masood Sadiq blamed the maternal health care system. As the health system is overworked with cases and extremely underfunded since only 0.9% of the entire budget is spent on the public health sector, with 3% on the private sector. Most children face these heart health issues due to the lack of nutrients they got when while their mothers were expecting them. Women from majority lower class households do not get the proper nourishment needed to carry a healthy child. Hence, from an early age, there are millions of children suffering from various heart and cardiac diseases.
The lack of nutrients that the expectant mothers face is just one of many root causes that Pakistan is facing and are not able to help the youth. The lack of qualified doctors adds the list. Most qualified doctors in Pakistan reside in big cities such as Karachi and Lahore, they cannot always travel to the deeper areas of Pakistan to help. Those residing in the remote areas are suffering from such poverty that they cannot bring their children to these doctors, they have to make do with the small time doctors who mostly are not even qualified to be called humans. Hospitals lack so much more than just staff and equipment. Basic hygiene is nowhere to be seen, medicines are not available, there are no beds.
Pakistan has made many plans and wants to implement it but with the lack of motivated individuals and the health sector not receiving enough acknowledgment from the government many doctors open their private practices and most population cannot afford the private doctor for their child. A lot of trained doctors even migrate to foreign countries since they are not paid enough and everyone needs to support their families, therefore, leaving Pakistani patients for foreigners.
Charities such as Pakistan Children Heart Foundation are trying their best to help children from poor families but are unable to fulfill their mission as they aren’t able to help a lot of children, Farhan the founder of the charity, his own daughter is a good example who although went through a surgery but still didn’t survive. At the moment they have a 16- month old child Muskan Wali who is now being helped by the charity, she was born with a hole in her heart. After waiting a year, Muskan was from those few kids who underwent heart surgery and got the right treatment from a private hospital.