Friday, December 11, 2009
Will we not wake up now? Our homes are burning and our roads covered with dust.
Every single moment, there are people around the world that are fighting for their lives against cancer, AIDS, and other perilous diseases. Patients realize that the doctors are doing the best they can and medical insurance and malpractice will immediately kick in if any error occurs. Due to the extensive monitoring and control of hospital processes and surgical procedures, doctors in the West team up to ensure availability of the best medical solutions possible irrespective of the odds.
Hundreds of doctors are sued annually and medical licenses canceled for life. Though these blatant actions can never revive mankind, they at least provide a controlled environment in which human error due to neglect and miscalculations are penalized. A proper and controlled hospital system will always keep the doctors on their toes, improve medical processes, hone surgical procedures, give birth to new technology and drive easier methods to diagnose disease and ailments.
Man can now rest assured that his life will be given the due attention if at any time his heart beats stop or his body shivers into a state of perplexity. Maybe one of the reasons behind the exponential increase of health care in the United States is that they realize that the human spirit and mind is something worth cherishing. America is the only country in the world where a handicap can become a president and a black man whose father once toiled the fields is elected. It is a world that commits its solemn pledge to mankind and hopes and believes that each child has in him the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln and the drive of Thomas Edison. Each child has the opportunity to become a hero. Each individual is priceless. Anybody saved might have the cure for AIDS, cancer or rebuild America. Is that not something worth a national commitment?
Pakistan has an abundance of children laying aimlessly in the streets and dying each day of malnutrition. Hundreds of people die without a root cause and are buried under the precipice of religious dialect. Pakistan has one of the highest malpractice deaths in the world. The major cause is that there is no control on the hospital methods. The ministers of Health have either constructed their own pharmacies or ensured that their relatives have become permanent employees of the government institutions. Any minister ready to challenge this? Can anyone give me an example of a hospital that has ever suspended its doctors due to malpractice and shun the worst root cause of death- human stupidity?
I don’t believe that Pakistan realizes what dies each day. It is not another innocent bystander or another poor soul. That boy perishing away in the hospital due to the fake medicines could have been another Allama Iqbal or even Tariq Bin Waleed. That girl who died yesterday since no one attended her in time could have been the next prime minister of this nation and rebuilt it. But why do we not see these stars shining and believe in the spirit of Pakistan? Who has allowed us to bury our tomorrow? Our priceless heroes die each day whereas our villains are kept alive. Why would any nation do this?
My father walked to the Punjab Medical Institute. He was a professor at a very prestigious university in Pakistan. They wrongly diagnosed him and gave him the wrong injection. His liver ruptured and that was the last day I had with my father. That day I had met him again after coming home from work. This time he was sleeping and could not hear me. Imagine how my soul felt. Imagine how my world dissipated. These doctors had no remorse. My shouts and screams did not have any effect on the staff at the institute. Now I realize that hundreds of men and women shout at them each day and they have become prone to it. We can only voice our anger. There is no institute or governance where we can show them the pieces of the puzzle and suspend the licenses.
Once the doctors at Punjab Cardiology realized that they have injected the wrong injection, they gave excuses and told me to run to Service Hospital and bring forth a liver specialist. All the doctors were off to their private clinics. Imagine how low I felt. I begged some doctors to visit me. All of them refused. They wanted me to come to their clinics. I had even requested one to take my car but come. I kept on shouting "he does not have anytime left".
I ran back and forth multiple of times to Service Hospital to bring a doctor. And each time to no avail. One of my friends rushed him to Doctors Hospital. My father was breathing that day. He kept on telling the doctor that he feels pain. They gave him dosage and he went into coma. This is against medical norms. You cannot put to sleep a patient that is perfectly breathing and lull him into the worst storm of his life.
He had trepidations as we played him in the CT Scanner. I had tears rolling down my eyes as I saw his body pulsate with pain. He was afraid. Maybe he was talking to death. Hoping that we live on.
My beloved father stayed at Doctors Hospital for a few more days. He was placed on the respirator without any intimation. I found out that this process is a delicate one and should be performed in the presence of a specialist. In my fathers case, he was treated by a nurse and a vagabond cat who kept on pacing the intensive care unit. Imagine my frustration. The depth of my anguish. I was loosing the man who taught me how to walk.
The saddest story begins here. As I paid the dues of my father and anticipated him to come out of the hospital, the entire scene was delayed. Irrespective of immediate payments, he was left unattended because one nurse never gave the slip to the intensive care.
I had dreams of evening perishing. Sometimes I idolize dying for a cause greater than myself. Maybe in old age when life can no longer breath into my body a single breath. Or maybe when I have seen my grandchildren. But never would I have even thought of walking to a hospital and dying. This is how Doctors Hospital killed my father. They wrongly diagonised him and went against norms and sedated him for no reason.
After my fathers death, I went to Punjab Cardiology. That doctor has now been promoted. Though he had apologized once he realized that we were influential people but the sad part is that there is no verdict for malpractice. My father walked to the hospital. Not on a wheel chair or in an ambulance. But walked by himself with a smile embarked on his aged petal lips. Do you know of any hospital that kills its patients that walk in?
I told my stories to my friends. Hundreds of new stories were communicated to me in tears and sad hearts. Someone had a similar incident. A nurse had given an overdose of sleeping pills to my neighbor’s sons who died at 18. My aunt’s father died after he was wrongly diagnosed for cancer. My friend’s mother died in service hospital since it was a strike and the doctors did not attend. I have kept all the stories in a dairy.
I will publish this book one day. But till that day, I write this story with an empty heart. What can we do? Should we burn the hospitals and shoot the doctors on our own? Should we create the institutes of governance? But how? The ministry of Health is heedless of this story. It has been sent to them multiple of times and still we see our tomorrow being injected with wrong medicines and people dying without a cause.
Each day Pakistan will kill its stars of tomorrow. If Pakistan had saved my father, he would have taught another generation. He might have met his grandchildren. Maybe my angel could have met her grandfather instead of staring at his pictures. Maybe I could have had time to say I love you and given him hope and love. Maybe the hundreds of people like me could have had another moment of solace and tranquility. Can I blame my country for the death of my father? I have written a poem for my father; please visit my blog http://buildpakistantogether.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-my-father-died.html%20for%20reading%20the%20poem.
Note - this article was submitted to us from one of our readers. We do not have any affiliation with the person or the deceased. We welcome contributions.