KARACHI: Sindh Health Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar on Monday claimed that medical specialists, gynaecologists, paediatricians and paramedical staff are available at all hospitals in Tharparkar round the clock.

He said measures were being taken to improve standard of all Thar district hospitals and public hospitals elsewhere across the province to that of private hospitals such as Aga Khan University and Indus hospitals.

In this connection, he said, a board was being constituted in each district comprising health department representatives along with people with good reputation and friendly nature nominated by civil society. The board would have direct access to the health minister and secretary to improve the services, he said.

The minister, who was speaking at a press conference in his office regarding the Thar situation, said that 316 children died in Tharparker this year due to various reasons while the government was making all-out efforts to control the situation.

He appealed to the media not to do injustice to the doctors, who were performing their duty in the desert, by blaming their ‘incompetence’ for the death of children.

Mr Mehtab said all district officers for health had been instructed to improve hospitals working within 10 days. They had been asked to ensure clean environment in hospitals and that available resources were used to provide necessary facilities to patients.

With the new system in place, interest of employees of the health department would also be safeguarded, the minister said.

He said that there was no excuse for the death of a single child as it was no less than a tragedy, but one ought to keep in view geographical and social circumstances of Thar also. Doctors and paramedical staff were performing their duty in all taluka hospitals, while 23 ambulance vehicles were provided to cater to primary healthcare needs in the far-flung areas.

He also gave assurance to the doctors serving in Tharparkar hospitals that their special allowances, which were promised by the chief minister, would soon be given to them as its summary had already been approved.

Mr Mehtab also announced that 32 doctors were being promoted from grade 19 to 20; 280 doctors from grade 18 to 19; and 716 doctors from grade 17 to 18 in compliance with rules and regulations.

Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2014

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