BAHAWALPUR: Bahawalpur is the largest division of the province in area because of being adjacent to the Cholistan Desert.The government, like its predecessors, made tall claims of providing basic health facilities to its population. However, they all seem to be hollow slogans in the absence of a state of the art burn unit.Bahawal Victoria Hospital, established in 1906, is the second largest hospital after Mayo Hospital in Lahore in the entire province. However, it still lacks a burn unit that can cater to the needs of over twelve million people. Patients suffering from burn injuries have to go CMH Kharian and PIMS which is approximately ten hours away.Government of the Punjab approved PC-1 for the establishment of a Burns Unit of 20 beds at BVH in 2009 and allocated 453 million rupees initially for its establishment in provincial ADP. According to sources, one million rupees were released; however, in 2010 Provincial Secretary Health halted its construction. Public representatives raised this issue in the National and Provincial Assemblies. Since then, this important project has been shelved and hundreds of burn patients have lost their lives due to the absence of such a crucial facility. According to compiled data from the Bahawalpur Division, during 2016 over one thousand patients suffered from burn injuries were admitted in Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital. Five hundred and sixty eight patients were admitted in Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Rahim Yar Khan and seven hundred and fifty five in DHQ, Bahawalnagar while more then 6000 received treatment from OPDs in Bahawalpur division. Shockingly, forty five percent of such patients lost their lives due to insufficient medical facilities for treating burn injuries.Commissioner Saqib Zafar, when contacted, was of the view that preference will be given to include the project of burns unit in the next financial year.