Benazir Bhutto Hospital Rawalpindi: The name changing practices – by Nadeem Khan

For cheap fame, our politicians name or re-name, government departments into their own name or on the names of their political affiliates. Once this practice was considered as a respectable paradigm and the names of some real renowned personalities lived by this act. Do name on the same principle but make the name proud by changing the status quo of the place.

Since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, this act was again repeated by some jiala like people within the PPP by renaming almost every place, specially in Rawalpindi. First the Rawalpindi General Hospital, then the long old famous ‘Murree Road, then Islamabad Airport. The road remained as Murree Road, till now, Islamabad Airport still being called, Islamabad Airport regardless of the insignia over it because you cannot force people. CAA must have spent millions of tax payers money over administrative changes, just for the change in name.

Rawalpindi General Hospital, now known as Benazir Bhutto Hospital is in the worst form then ever than any other government hospital in Rawalpindi. This lucky hospital is situated right in the middle of the city and can not be termed as an outskirter and ignored. Even DHQ and Holy Family Hospitals are in far better form than RGH or BBH.

Just by naming the hospital on a tallest dignitary of Pakistani politics haven’t changed the status quo of the hospital till now, rather the hospital status has further gone down below the level of an ordinary BHU (Basic Health Unit) situated in any village. Contaminated filth crosses the threshold of any prescribed level of health and safety (in Pakistan that level is already far below the WHO health and safety levels).

Right after renaming the hospital, millions of rupees must have been spent, from the pockets of the tax payers, over the administrative changes like re-printing of hospital records, papers, employee records and other hospital name tags, etc, etc. Much must have gone into pockets of some. Important to note that the name ‘RGH’ has not completely been removed from various name plates within the same hospital, like the management is waiting for another government to come and re-instate the former name ASAP.

One can find huge crowds of poor and serious patients and their attendants ‘residing’ in the out side park of the hospital because, either there are no beds available or there are no appointments established, yet, with the suitable seniors doctors for serious patients. Poor people are just residing under the tree shadows under open sky for their turns since days, without food and water. Many people find suitable residing places within wards, corridors and other inside places of the hospital.

The ward’s situation is at its extreme where the heaps of filth (both organic and inorganic including blood, waste bloody bandages, empty pints, used syringes, etc) under the very beds of patients and in ward’s corners, is prominent by eyes and nose as well due to pungent toxic smell all around.

The most amazing scene was observed in the ICU, where same kind of filth can be seen along with cats bearing their kittens in some broken closets within ICU ward. The cats are always come and go easily and are allowed in these places as they find plenty of eatables and cool environment due to air conditioners to raise their kids. Mosquitoes (could be normal and dengue), rats and flies, in a health facility, is a mockery towards the people us all, who are readily eager to name a place on our futile political likings for show offs and never think over changing the real status quo of the place so that the name may be revered for ever which was to be the real purpose.

If the PPP government was so keen to remember their, once great leader, have seriously spent over the real internal and external well being of the hospital, the great name of Benazir Bhutto may have cherished for a long time, along with the hospital. Now, even a layman can understand that re-naming of RGH was simply a cheap political gimmick by some ‘yes ministers’ at that time who never turned their eyes over a hospital first and the last time, when BB was brought there after the assassination.

Instead of again building a shrine in memory of Benazir Bhutto in Islamabad, by spending millions of rupees, PPP government should first take visible steps to upgrade the status of the hospital they named on a legacy. At least this act will gather enough honest prays and prayers for her soul’s peace, which is more useful than a simple show off practice.

I request rather insist the concerned dumb ‘yes ministers’ of the current government specially the PM who ordered the change of name, either to immediately change the status quo of the Hospital with immediate effect, so that it may represent the name it is bearing now OR just re-instate the name of RGH. At least, the name of Benazir Bhutto may not be made a point of ridicule due to the acts or ignorance of such ‘Hollow Yes Ministers’ clustering around the party centre now a days. Just refrain from doing such acts of futile naming of places you can not embellish for good, just for the sake of your own fame, pompous loyalty or showoff.



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