Thoracic Surgery Deptt non-functional in Sindh’s major hospitals

KARACHI: Due to shortage of thoracic surgeons in Sindh province, the Thoracic Surgery Departments in major public hospitals of Sindh province are non-functional as a result, patients with surgery requirements are being referred to private healthcares, it was learned on Monday.

An official at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) on condition of anonymity informed that Thoracic Surgery Department in the JPMC had been closed in 2013, when Chest Surgeon Dr Waqar Ahmed retired from his post, while another doctor from same department shifted himself to abroad. The hospital administration had shut down the Thoracic Surgery Department due to unavailability of specialist surgeons.

He explained that thoracic surgeon is a medical doctor who performs operations on the chest, lungs, oesophagus, and other organs in the chest. He said Thoracic surgery refers to any type of surgery performed on organs and tissues in the chest cavity, such as lungs when medication or other treatments are not effective. He said, after closure of Thoracic Surgery Department in JPMC, the patients with thoracic surgery requirements are being referred to private hospitals due to non-existence of thoracic surgery departments and shortage of surgeons throughout the province.

Similarly, Maxillofacial Surgery Department in JPMC and Civil Hospital Karachi had also been shut down due to shortage of surgeons in this filed. He said although Maxillofacial Surgery Department was established in Civil Hospital Karachi, but no senior doctor and surgeon are available in the healthcare, he concluded.

Deputy Director Admin & Focal Person, JPMC, Dr Jawaid Jamali, when contacted, said Thoracic Surgery Department in JPMC had been closed over three years ago after retirement of surgeon. He said new JPMC administration had no authority to hire chest surgeon to reopen department due to some legal issues.

On the other hand, Medical Superintendent Civil Hospital Karachi Prof Saeed Ahmed Qureshi said Thoracic Surgery Department of hospital was shifted to Dow University of Health Sciences Ojha Campus many years ago.