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Patients suffer as PIMS air conditioning system becomes dysfunctional

ISLAMABAD – The air conditioning system of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the city’s largest hospital Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) is dysfunctional and causing trouble for patients battling for their lives, The Nation learnt on Saturday.

Senior officials of the PIMS informed that along with the ICU, air conditioning systems of the Outpatients Department (OPD) and wards are also not working. 

A senior doctor at ICU of PIMS informed The Nation that the air conditioning system in ICU was not working about a week ago, and it was repaired. Again, the system has become dysfunctional and patients in ICU are suffering.

“Intense heat and non-functioning of ACs has become a larger issue for patients in ICU who are already battling for their lives,” said the doctor. Officials further informed that the system is also not working in newly renovated OPD’s first floor and some wards and departments including gynaecology. Officials said that before the renovation of OPD, the air conditioning system installed was working.

Officials say that before the renovation of OPD, the air conditioning system was working

Officials also informed that the hospital administration claims that it is soon going to release tender for installation of ACs, however, why the already existing machinery could not be made operational is a question.

Earlier, the doctors while protesting for their COVID-19 risk allowance had also issued a statement saying that there has been a serious issue of air conditioners in PIMS. “Healthcare workers and patients admitted in wards are suffering due to this. Despite repeated requests this issues has not been solved. Even the first floor of newly opened OPD after renovation lacks ACs and the ACs removed before renovation are missing and this matter needs inquiry.”

Doctors at ICU said that one of the ACs became dysfunctional around 2 o’clock and technicians refused to repair it saying that ACs have become old and compressors can’t be repaired.

Officials said that non-functioning of ACs in ICU not only risked the patients’ lives, but also material in lab cupboards had become dangerous to administer to the patients.

Officials said that the technical department was using a temporary method of pouring water on AC compressors which was only workable for few minutes. 

A patient Haleema Bibi at gastro OPD on the first floor said that temperature is very high and non-functioning of ACs is making things more difficult for patients. She said that patients wait in long queues to get ticket of examination, then they wait to get checked by doctor in the concerned department.

“It’s a long process and elderly patients like me suffer in this hot weather,” she said.

The patients also said that after a long time, PIMS OPD has been re-opened but it is unfortunate that cooling system is not working when daily hundreds of patients are visiting here.

Doctors also said that the air conditioning system is not working since last one month while in some departments their equipment was also missing.

PIMS Media Coordinator Dr. Waseem Khawaja confirmed that ACs are not working in different departments of the hospital. He said that in OPDs, system had to be installed after renovation. Hopefully matter will be resolved soon.

Dr. Waseem also said the staff had also requested the administration for installation of ACs and it has informed that soon it will be done.

“Non-functionality of ACs in hospital where serious patients are admitted is indeed a matter of concern and hopefully this is going to be done soon,” he said.

 

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