LAHORE: In what appears to be a ‘criminal negligence’ on the part of the administration of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), over 100,000 files of the patients and the iron-made racks worth over Rs4.5 million have been stolen from the record room of the institute.

The development shocked many as the incident occurred in the largest public sector cardiac hospital which was under the tight surveillance of several cameras and security guards besides many administrative officials.

The PIC has been in the grip of scandals of drug reactions, insertion of expired cardiac stents into the heart patients, embezzlement and other such incidents. One of the major scams surfaced [in the PIC] in the past was administration of adulterated medicine to the patients which led to death of over 150 of them.

Another one had been reported in October 2021 when the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) probe reported that the cardiac surgeons inserted expired stents into the heart patients.

‘Thieves’ take away iron racks worth Rs4.5m

Talking about the fresh incident, an official said on Sept 6, the institute’s administration was alerted by some guards and other relevant staff that a large number of files of the patients were ‘missing’ from the record room.

Initially, the administration tried to hush up the matter and asked the staff not to report it to the police or other relevant government authorities.

Meanwhile, the matter was probed at the level of the institute and the reports suggested that the issue was of serious nature as more than 100,000 files of the patients were ‘missing’ from the store.

It was further reported that the thieves also took away iron-made racks worth more than Rs4.5m from the same record room.

The report stated that the record was of year 2016 to 2018 and some files were stored in later years.

The hospital administration filed a written complaint with the Shadman police to lodge a case against [unidentified] suspects.

PIC Medical Superintendent Dr Tehseen Riaz confirmed to Dawn saying that the initial inquires are under way while police have also been engaged to take legal action.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2022

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