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Woman gives birth on Lahore hospital’s stairs after being denied entry

A woman gave birth on the stairs of Lahore’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on Friday after being denied entry for not possessing the required hospital card.

After she was turned away from the labour room, Shabana Riaz ─ who was accompanied by her husband ─ gave birth to a baby boy on the stairs nearby within hospital premises, the family of the woman claimed.

Following the delivery, the woman and child did not receive any treatment, until the infant began facing difficulties breathing, prompting the intervention of hospital officials. Both mother and child are now out of danger.

Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafiq reached the hospital after the incident and suspended Sir Ganga Ram Hospital’s Director Emergency Dr Abdul Ghaffar, and ordered the formation of a three-member committee to investigate the matter, DawnNews reported.

He claimed that the woman had been treated on Wednesday at the same hospital and the issue had occurred because the family arrived very late to the hospital and had been asked to wait.

Rafiq also called for women and the community to be educated on labour and delivery in order to prevent delays in reaching the hospital.

This is the second such incident this month of a pregnant woman being turned away by the hospital staff in the city. On Tuesday, a woman gave birth outside the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Raiwind after being denied entry.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had taken notice of the incident and promised strict action against those found responsible. Subsequently, the medical superintendent and gynaecological consultant at the hospital were suspended by the chief minister.

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