Purchase of equipment for hospitals

Over the years, lack of expansion in physical infrastructure and dearth of medical equipment in the district level government hospital have been glaring deficiencies of secondary healthcare system. These hospitals, by and large, functioned as referral centers for sending most of the patients to teaching level hospitals, which were already bursting with patients.

Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government has released funds of Rs.2 billion for one such hospital in the settled district of Mansehra and seven hospitals in the merged tribal district. These funds shall be spent on the purchase of equipment required for the diagnostic and surgical procedures and safety of doctors, paramedics and other staff.

It is not yet clear as to whether proper buildings such as wards, operation theaters and diagnostic labs exist for the installation of medical equipment which is being purchased. Likewise, it is also not clear as to whether properly trained staff has been recruited for operating the equipment and its maintenance. In the past, brand new equipment could not be made operational for several years and later auctioned at throw away price.

Majority of district headquarter hospitals do not have isolation wards, which needs to be built on priority basis. Deficiency of protective clothes masks and gloves have to be overcome on priority basis for the proper safety of doctors, nurses, paramedics and all other staff working in hospitals. Moreover, daily insecticide spray in hospital premises would be inevitable. In the prevailing grim situation, broad spectrum response is required instead of piecemeal approach.