Citizens on Monday complained that the post-graduate (PG) trainee doctors at the federal capital’s major hospital- Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) were playing with the health of patients due to limited know how of the medical protocols.
According to them, due to busy schedule at their private clinics, most of the senior doctors remained absent from the hospital even in day time while the post graduates trainee doctors performed duties in their absence in critical sections of the hospital.
The citizens observed that rather working under the supervision of professors, the PGs had been even given responsibilities to run the whole departments, which was a joke with the patients who visited the hospital to seek remedy of their illness from medical experts.
“The PGs have the support of their associations and the hospital administration has to adjust them in good positions despite their limited medical experience and knowing the fact that they are trainee doctors,” a senior management staff member of the hospital claimed.
He accepted that the hospital administration had received several complaints about their negligence and rude behaviour with the patients but it could not take any action against any such doctor.
Shoib Ahmad, a patient, said,”The junior doctors must ensure that they do not indulge in any untoward incident that negatively impacts directly or indirectly on patient care and that their family, and study matters must never interfere with patients’ treatment at PIMS in any way.”
He regretted that despite remaining absent for whole day, the senior doctors remained present on duty charts and also on ‘on-call’ register to get overtime charges from the hospital management.
Sikandar Bhatti, a patient at PIMS medical ward, alleged,“No one in the hospital takes any responsibility regarding patient care as doctors mostly remain busy in convincing patients to come to their private clinic for proper treatment.”
He said the patients expected from the medical practitioners to provide them a quality care, which was timely, compassionate, and respecting human privacy and dignity.
“Under professional ethics, medical practitioners are bound to avoid any non-discriminating attitude or exploiting vulnerable situations in the hospital,” Aftab Chaudhry, another patient admitted at PIMS, said.
He said under the code of ethics prepared by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) for medical practitioners, gross negligence in respect of professional duties might lead to suspension or removal from services.
Asad Saleem, another patient at PIMS, said public hospital doctors should be discouraged from entering into business deals with patients or other arrangements that included financial incentives from pharmaceutical companies.
He said in all dealing with patients, every doctor must keep in mind that the interest of the patient and the advantage to the patient’s health should be the major consideration.
Zafar Hameed, another patient, was of the view said that due to non-observance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by the staff at the emergency, patients faced several hardships, particularly those who were brought there with critical condition.
Sometimes patients at the emergency department, he said, needed immediate response from expert doctors but only general physicians were found there and the specialist doctors did not reach the ward on time.
Adnan Rafeeq, the attendant with a patient at PIMS, said keeping in view the serious nature of the section, only well-trained medical and non-medical staff having full knowledge of SOPs and all other procedures, should be assigned at PIMS emergency.
“The PMDC is committed to regulate the standards of medical practice, protect the interests of the patients, supervise medical education, and give guidelines on ethical issues,” an official of PMDC said while reacting on non-observance of code of ethics by PIMS doctors.
He said the code of ethics provided a set of principles, which doctors could use as guidelines in the varying situations, in line with their judgment, experience, knowledge and skills. In case of receiving any complaint regarding negligence and malpractice of doctors, the Council took strict action against medical practitioners, he added.
The official advised the citizens to send their complaints against doctors directly to the PMDC.
When contacted, an official of PIMS said unlike medical practices abroad where one doctor examined five to seven patients in a day, here at PIMS each doctor had to examine several patients daily at emergency and other wards.
He said the hospital’s doctors fully observed the code of ethics. He said the hospital management had taken several steps to provide the best medical care to the patients.
He added a team of best doctors remained in the emergency ward of the hospital round the clock