Why Do Hospitals In Pakistan Only Cater To The Rich?

By Arslan Athar | 26 Jul, 2016

Hospitals in Pakistan don’t have a very positive reputation, and that is an understatement. We usually think of hospitals as an institution¬†that would treat people regardless of their background, class or religion because humanity stands above all else. Hospitals as we see them are the only place where discrimination should and cannot take place. However every so often a story comes up that breaks that very notion.


Sidra Aslam’s father met with an accident on the second day of Eid in his village. The events that unraveled after that are both shameful and frightening.¬†

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The family was repeatedly told by PIMS Hospitals in big cities that their father couldn’t be treated because according to hospital staff they need to get someone “important” to make a call for him. Guess a human life wasn’t important enough.

The staff didn’t see Sidra’s father as someone who deserved their attention (especially during Eid) just because he didn’t have ties to the rich and powerful.


The family went all the way up to PIMS Islamabad from Jehlum

sidra tweet

The doctor’s¬†at PIMS refused to see a patient nearing death



If Sidra’s father was a big shot the same doctor would’ve stood on his toes as he entered and would care for him. Actually scratch that, they wouldn’t have been in this situation where a severely injured man is being taken from hospital to hospital with his family begging for treatment. Sad realization to know what the majority of Pakistan goes through, every single day.


In an institution like PIMS one wouldn’t expect such discriminatory behavior.

For the staff at PIMS Islamabad, an injured man just on the merit of being injured didn’t deserve immediate¬†care however if someone more powerful called, they would surely treat him.


It took three days, yes three days, for Sidra’s father to be shifted to the ICU where he finally began treatment. Unfortunately it was too little too late.


The inevitable unfortunately happened. 



His family could have been spared the horrors he was put through, only if the doctor realized that the patient was a human.

You, as a doctor, take an oath to serve HUMANITY yet this and thousand other untold stories prove that you don’t take that oath seriously. Yes, you are overworked, yes it was Eid when this accident happened but none of them justifies¬†not saving a life.

Why must one have to justify the need for medical attention? Why must you need to have powerful contacts to get medical care? Sidra lost her father because hospital staff just wasn’t interested in dealing with people who it deemed too unimportant and not powerful enough to deserve their care. There are thousand more like her’s that go¬†unattended, and not just at PIMS.


Cover Image via: Financial Times

Zarra ye bhee check karein:

11 Types Of Patients Every Pakistani Doctor Has To Deal With


Confessions of a Pakistani Medical Student

Med School

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