MITHI: An offer made by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah to doctors, paramedics and other support staff for service delivery in the drought-hit Thar region failed to make any difference as either the government did not fulfil its promise or the offer did not attract a good response.

The chief minister had offered a double salary to interested candidates and about 150 doctors were interviewed for appointment and posting in the Mithi, Diplo, Nagarparkar, Chhachhro and Islamkot hospitals as well as the basic health units in the rural areas of the calamity-hit Tharparkar district. While more than 130 posts of doctors are still lying vacant, seven of the 58 doctors appointed to deal with the drought emergency did not join their duties and a good number of the others got them transferred to some urban areas, it is reliably learnt.

While offering heavy perks during his visit to Tharparkar soon after the drought hit the region, the chief minister had remarked that he knew doctors and paramedics were reluctant to accept posting in this downtrodden region.

It emerged that the doctors who offered their services in Mithi, Diplo, Nagarparkar, Chhachhro and Islamkot towns were given an additional stipend of Rs10,000 per month instead of a double salary as pledged by the CM. This created frustration among them and the other interested candidates.

No doctor could be posted at the BHUs and dispensaries and no lady doctor at the Nagarparkar hospital. Eleven posts of doctors/specialists are still lying vacant in the Mithi Civil Hospital, which is also without a nursing superintendent.

According to sources, the CM’s order to enhance the medical budget of 110 Thar hospitals have not been complied with as yet and this had aggravated a shortage of medicines at the hospitals amid the persisting drought emergency.

Due to unavailability of essentially required health facilities at the Mithi Civil Hospital, more than 200 patients were referred to Hyderabad over the last couple of weeks alone. They included 51 men and as many children, as well as 40 women including three expecting mothers.

A look at the relevant data shows that the ratio of survival among the patients referred from the Mithi hospital, BHUs and rural dispensaries to Hyderabad is just 50 per cent.

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