Free medical camp deepens realisation of lack of healthcare facilities.
A medical camp, offering free healthcare services, at the Sindh Government Hospital in Rehri Goth, pronounced the lack of basic facilities available to residents in the area.
Decrying a lack of healthcare facilities, a resident, Younis Khaskheli, questioned, “Why should there be the need for a non-governmental organisation (NGO)- Greenstar Social Marketing (GSM) in this case – to set up a medical camp here?”
Then, answering his own question, he spat, “Because this hospital doesn’t function properly. This is a dispensary, not a hospital!”
Union council secretary Amjad Majeed, on the other hand, maintained the services at the government hospital in Rehri Goth were improving, albeit admitting that the facility had not been functioning properly.
Another resident, Abdul Qadar told The Express Tribune that the hospital catered to 0.5 million people of four UC, namely Rehri Goth, Chashma Goth, Muzaffarabad and Muslimabad. But due to a lack of proper healthcare facilities here, most have to go to hospitals in cities, and the cost of travelling alone costs around Rs3,000, which many can’t afford, he said.
Meanwhile, hapless and deprived residents of the area continued to visit the 36-bed camp.
According to a staff at the camp, approximately 1,000 patients visited the camp during the six-hour window for which the camp provided medical treatment yesterday (Tuesday) morning.
Among them was elderly and frail Fatima.
Deeming the medical camp a “blessing”, she complained, “At other times, I don’t get proper treatment at this hospital. The facility doesn’t even have medicines.”
At the camp, specialist doctors held counseling sessions, particularly focusing on raising awareness about breast cancer and family planning among women.
Dr Azizur Rab of GSM pointed out that slums needed more such camps and the majority of women in low-income areas were not aware of their medical issues.
Speaking in relevance to the lack of healthcare facilities and the need for free medical camps, particularly for women, former Sindh Assembly member Mahtab Akbar Rashdi said, “Our women are in pain. They need proper care.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2021.