SUKKUR: Even though Sukkur district has nine government-run hospitals, most of the patients visiting the hospitals are turned down for important tests like ultrasound and X-ray scans as testing machines are not functioning properly. The survey conducted by Daily Times on Sunday shows that government hospitals are supposed to cater to the needs of the poor population who cannot afford the private medical sector for its expensive treatment.The survey disclosed that claims by the Sindh government that it has been spending millions of rupees on the health sector to benefit the poor people fall flat when they come up against this stark reality. The survey confirmed that only five out of ten ultrasound machines in civil hospital Sukkur are functional and no one is concerned about the other five out of order machines as nobody from the higher authorities has enquired about them.Upon contact by the Media, additional medical officer of civil hospital Dr. Shatrogun declined to comment on the poor performance of machines in the hospital. Naimullah, the brother of a patient told the journalist that his brother was suffering from hepatitis B and C and doctors had asked for a CT scan test from a private laboratory because the hospital was not facilitated with the test.Patients were told that the hospital lacks even essential surgical equipment like surgical blades and sutures used for operations. Doctors sent patients to buy from outside medical stores in order to conduct the operation. An old man named Haji Ghulam Rasool who was daily wager stood in line for two hours to buy medicines for his ailing granddaughter and, when his turn came, he was told that the medicines he required were out of stock. He sobbed and wailed as he had to go back home for more money to purchase medicines from private stores. The survey saw that government-run hospitals not only have a shortage of medicines and equipment, but they also suffer from shoddy infrastructure, unclean toilets, a staff crunch and inadequate diagnostic and lab facilities. As a result private testing centers and chemists which are unaffordable for the poor are thriving outside and near government-run hospitals.The survey concluded that the situation has resulted in mushrooming of private testing centres and medical stores in and around government hospitals.