By Suleman Hashim

The patients come to DHQ, Gwadar hospital from far-flung areas but they rarely receive timely treatment.

District Headquarter Hospital, (DHQ) Gawadar is visited by more than three hundred patients daily for treatment, according to the record of the hospital. As there are not enough hospitals in the Makran region, therefore the load of patients increases as hundreds of people come here from distant areas as well.

By 1:30 in the afternoon, a majority of the doctors, including both male and female, had already gotten up from their seats leaving the patients unattended as there were still dozens of patients present inside the hospital.

Ilahi Bakhsh, a clerk at DHQ hospital, told Pak Voices, “A large number of patients come to the hospital between 9 am and 2 pm because of the increasing population of Gawadar.”

“After the GDA hospital has started its operation in Naya Abad, there is some relief in the patients’ load.”

But the shortage of doctors and staff will continue to cause inconvenience to the people coming to DHQ hospital. The medical superintendent Dr Abdul Latif of DHQ, hospital, Gwadar of the hospital explained that they had 18 doctors before but now only 5 doctors are left in the hospital as many have joined GDA hospital.

Besides the shortage of staff and doctors, the condition of the building is also deteriorating.

As the doctors call the day early than their duty hours, it leaves scores of patients in pain and misery.  Only one doctor was present in his room of emergency ward who was struggling to deal with lots of patients.

Yasin Baloch, a lonely doctor present at the hospital in the afternoon, speaking to Pak Voices said, “As  the residence is the biggest problem and rents are very high in Gwadar so most of the doctors are reluctant to come and settle in the port town.”

Shamshtoon Baksh, a female patient from a far rural area of Jiwani, almost 60 KM from Gwadar town, was searching for a doctor to get her reports checked. Speaking to PakVoices, she said,” I’ve come from Jiwani after paying RS 400 as a fare, but all the doctors have already left the hospital.”

She added, “If I go back without a checkup, it would not be possible to come again within a few days.” Talking about hospitals in Jiwani, she said, “There is neither any hospital nor any laboratory in our area, so we’ve no option but to come to Gwadar even for a minor treatment.”

The outer wall of the hospital has developed cracks.

On the other hand, she regretted that the condition of the Gwadar’s hospital was also far from satisfactory. Roof plasters were broken as well as there were cracks in walls. Neither there were any bed covers nor bed sheets were available.

Younis Hussain Baloch, a laboratory technician, was still available in his lab saying,” I’m waiting for patients to collect their lab reports,” adding that there is load shedding of electricity from 11 am to 1 pm daily, so reports are delayed except for some days when the generator is working.” Baloch told that most of the patients go back without their lab reports due to delay.

Rabia Baloch, another female patient, told PakVoices, “Doctors have prescribed the medicine that is very expensive outside but these are not provided by the hospital.”

She added, “I’ve come so that doctor could prescribe less expensive medicine, but there is no doctor available due to which I’ll have to come again.”

Suleman Hashim is working with Pak Voices as a citizen journalist from Gwadar town.