PESHAWAR, July 13: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has planned to send doctors for postgraduate training to Combined Military Hospitals as part of its programme to develop the medical specialties, which the province lacks.
Officials said that a preliminary meeting in that connection had taken place last week in which a draft prepared by health department was discussed and it was agreed to hammer out a final document in shape of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for imparting training to eight trainee medical officers (TMOs) in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, hematology and cardiothoracic surgery.
These departments suffer from severe shortage of human resources. Only three consultants work in cardiovascular department. Same is situation in other departments for which the provincial health department is seeking army’s help.
The provincial health department will pay stipends to the TMOs, to be sent for four and five years to get training in the five specialties. The army would give free accommodation and subsidised food to the trainee doctors. The doctors will be sent for training on annual basis from the province.
Senior officials of the health department will visit Combined Military Hospitals next week to see the facilities to be extended to the TMOs before singing a MoU with the authorities concerned.
By 2014, the province will be able to open five new wards of the said specialties, which are presently available only in Lady Reading Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar.
Both the hospitals receive patients from the whole province owing to which people need emergency surgeries have to wait for long.
Presently, the government has 1,413 TMOs undergoing training in medicines, general surgery, orthopaedics, dermatology, ENT and other disciplines.
The government has also decided to give option to the recently selected 273 TMOs weather they want training in LRH or CMH Rawalpindi. Officials said that candidates would be encouraged to take up their postgraduate courses under the army consultants in the said specialties. The government was desperate to develop human resources to materialise its future plan of putting in place all facilities at the district hospitals, they added.
They said that army hospitals also required human resources to cater to the workload and the doctors of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would find rare opportunities of working under highly-trained and qualified medical teachers. The health department had drawn out a plan that had been approved by the minister, they said.
The MoU will be singed later this month that may also include training of doctors in intensive care, pulmonology and cardiac care.
In the next phase, the province will begin sending more TMOs to the army hospitals. The former will recruit trainee doctors to be deployed at CMH Rawalpindi. For this purpose, the government will make obligatory upon the doctors to work in the hospitals of the province after completion of their training.
According to sources, government spends Rs500 million annually on TMOs but it doesn’t benefit the province as 70 per cent of them give up attempts to pass the examinations after failure.
The provincial government has also decided to strengthen coordination with army in other areas of medical sciences to develop workforce for establishment of more medical colleges and upgradation of district headquarters hospitals to teaching hospitals.