Agha Khan Hospital Succumbs to Urban Militants
Today I received this email from a close associate and a very active civil society activist Naeem Sadiq, who shares his experience at Agha Khan Hospital. The email was not actually hitting out at AKU but was more or less finger pointing to the Urban Militia [good key word I must say] that roams around the city as if they own each piece of the land. It is the beauty of citizen journalism that such reports are brought to the attention of the public with the hope that it can possibly instigate a positive change.
AKU was once perceived as a disciplined, professional and caring hospital. It followed rules, provided excellent health care services and even operated a good patient welfare scheme. We were proud of the great hospital built by Prince Karim Aga Khan in the middle of the town.
The AKU has gradually chosen to bid farewell to its founding principles and make compromises, more so when it comes to dealing with the powerful and influential urban militants.
AKU rules clearly require that weapons shall not be brought inside the hospital and vehicles shall be parked only at the designated parking places. There are two guards who are full time on duty to make sure that the vehicles move off and do not park in front of the private ward pick and drop area. The rule is uniformly applied to all citizens. However it is conveniently waived off for ministers, unregistered vehicles and for those who come accompanied by weapon carrying goons.
At 1845 hours on May 13, 2009, there were two vehicles parked in-front of the Private Ward’s pick and drop area. One vehicle had a fishy illegal number plate giving irrelevant information (Chief Of Jhalayan, Minister S&GAD), the other had three armed guards.On questioning as to why do they not act to get the two vehicles removed from the no-parking location, the AKU guards showed the same self acquired helplessness that has become the standard Pakistani excuse for not performing one’s duty.
I then called up the AKU security chief and asked him to do his duty to get the vehicles removed and to also report the matter to the Police for people bringing weapons and unregistered vehicles to the hospital. (besides refusing to follow hospital rules of parking)
I spent another 40 minutes in the hospital. The vehicles remained parked where they were, and the hospital administration, devoid of good sense and good guts kept looking in the other direction. That much for the finest health care organisation of Pakistan. Would some one please pass on this email to the HH.