LARKANA, Nov 24: The Chandka Medical College Hospital (CMCH) in Larkana has lately been facing an acute shortage of doctors and medical staff.

The sanctioned strength of the CMCH is 389 doctors while the number of filled vacancies is 203 leaving 186 posts of medical officers in different departments vacant, sources in the hospital statistics department told Dawn.

Medical superintendent of the CMCH Professor Surgeon Afsar Bhutto said that he had submitted the vacancy position from BPS-17 to BPS-20 on Oct 31, 2012 to the health department in the light of a communication with the health secretary.

The document shows startling facts about the shortage the hospital is facing.

It says that 21 posts of anaesthetist in BPS-17 and BPS-18 are lying vacant while 67 posts of senior medical officer (male and female) are vacant.

The details sent to the health department indicated that 27 seats of chief medical officer and the equal number of posts of trainee registrar were lying vacant in this institution while 15 posts of registrar were unfilled.

Two posts of blood transfusion officer, three posts of blood bank officer, six posts of senior registrar, three posts of pathologist, seven posts of registrar, two posts of radiologist and five posts chief woman medical officer were also lying vacant, it added.

The health department of the government of Sindh was communicated these details in a letter (No. CMCHL-E-I (PF)/15529), the sources in the MS office said.

Speaking to Dawn, health experts said that it was a matter of grave concern that a major health institution located near the Sindh-Balochistan border and that received patients even from parts of Punjab was facing such a huge shortage of medial officers.

Sources said that the Chandka Medical College Hospital had grown over the years and in the near future a fully-fledged child healthcare institute would be added to strengthen it.However, the child healthcare institute project was taking off without required staff and that might compound the problems of shortage of doctors and staff, the sources added.

The sources said that the hospital management in the event of one-step promotions accorded to doctors working in this institution in July 2011 by the Sindh government was facing another problem of doctors.

The medical superintendent following these promotions wrote to the health secretary of the government of Sindh for early creation of posts of medical officers (male and female) in BPS-17 so as to overcome the shortage.

The letter bearing date 1 November 2012 said that in the light of the government order N0. SO (B) 9-249/2010(a) dated 9 July 2011, some 55 male and female medical officers were elevated to grade-18. Also 21 male and female doctors were promoted from grade-18 to grade-19 while one medical officer was promoted from grade-19 to grade-20. With this, the medical superintendent said that 77 posts were upgraded. Keeping in view the current situation, the medical superintendent had requested the secretary of health of the Sindh government for creating 77 posts of medical officer in BPS-17 (male and female) to overcome the shortage of doctors.

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