Health & Fitness

Patients in danger: Medicines stored in high temperature at PIMS

ISLAMABAD: Medicines worth tens of millions in rupees in PIMS are being kept in vulnerable conditions, pushing thousands of poor patients’ life to danger. Despite fact that drug could be stored only in room temperature which is 25-28 centigrade, there is no air condition in stores even in this hot season.

Medicines in OPD on first floor of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and main stores in the hospital are stored without any air condition when temperature fluctuation hit as high as 40 centigrade these days, this was witnessed when this scribe visited the biggest health facility in the capital city of Islamabad on Thursday.

When the pharmacist on duty was asked as what is the temperature here, he replied, “we do not have thermometer right now but it’s too hot here”.

Similar was the situation in the main stores just few steps ahead doctors’ cafeteria. People were busy in storing the medicines in piles in a big room where even exhausts were not available and there was no ventilation system. “We are trying to install an exhaust in the room in next few days,” said an employee who was busy in placing the bundles of various medicines in a closed room which had no window.

A lot of medicines were piled in entrance to the room of the Chief Pharmacist Javid Iqbal. When Iqbal was asked as why such a carelessness is being carried out with the medicines for which the public had paid in form of taxes, he said that he had forwarded a request to the executive director of the hospital in this connection who promised to provide facilities.

Executive Director of PIMS Professor Mehmood Jamal’s office was also visited for his official version but according to his PA he was in a meeting. When contacted, Joint Director Jenzeb Orakzai said, “he is nothing to do with these issues and therefore unaware of the matter.”

However, when contacted for his official version Dr. Zulfiqar Ghauri, spokesman for PIMS, told Online that the central cooling system was damaged about two years ago and budget for it is still awaited. Its re-installations would need tens of millions in rupees, he added. “But we pay taxes, and basically we provide money for all these medicines. And then our health and life are made at stake by these medicines due to negligence of the government,” said an educated attendant of a patient in ICU.

A doctor and a pharmacist on condition of anonymity confirmed that a temperature above than 28 centigrade could cause changes in medicines due to reaction that could seriously harm health of patients if swallowed.

Online tried to take a version from PIMS’ Drug Inspector Shafiq but his cell phone was powered off. It is pertinent to mention that drug inspectors fine poor private chemists heavily when they found a shop without proper storing.-Online

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Nabeel Malik

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