An 80-year-old woman died after a former security guard posed as a doctor and performed a surgery at the Mayo hospital in Lahore.
The victim, Shameema Begum, died on Sunday this week, a fortnight after she was operated on by ex-guard Muhammad Waheed Butt for the treatment of her back wound.
An administrative official of the hospital, who wished to remain anonymous, defended the hospital’s lapse, saying that they could not keep a tab on what every doctor is up to at all times. “We can’t keep up with what every doctor and what everyone is doing at all times. It’s a large hospital,” the administration official explained.
He also said that it is unclear as of now as to what type of surgery was performed by the pretender, where a qualified technician was also present.
Nevertheless, the entire episode has brought to fore the pervasive negligence of hospital authorities in Pakistan, especially that of public hospitals.
Begum’s family had already paid for her operation, along with two home visits to dress her wound. But when the bleeding and pain exacerbated, she was returned to the hospital, where they discovered that Begum was operated on by an imposter pretending to be a doctor.
Her body was later sent for autopsy to determine if the cause of the death was a result of complications from the botched surgery.
According to AFP News, which quoted Lahore police spokesman Ali Safdar, the guard has been charged and is in police custody. “Butt had posed as a doctor and made home visits to other patients in the past also,” Safdar said.
The hospital staff claim Butt was sacked two years ago for trying to extort money from the patients.
Past incidents of imposters posing as doctors in Pakistani hospitals
However, this is not the first time that miscreants presented themselves as doctors and carried out criminal activities. Last month, a man was arrested for posing as a doctor at Lahore General Hospital and extorting money from patients in the surgical ward.
Five years back, in 2016, it was discovered that a woman imposter posing to be a neurosurgeon conducted surgeries on patients for eight months alongside qualified doctors at Lahore’s Services Hospital, the second-largest health facility in Pakistan.