PESHAWAR: Scores of highly qualified specialists from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, working abroad, are likely to join Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar within a month, according to officials.

“More than 50 doctors currently based in Europe and the United States have shown interest to work in the province’s biggest hospital,” Prof Nausherwan Barki, chairman Board of Governors, LRH told Dawn.

He said that they had advertised several vacant posts of consultants in national newspapers and international medical journals such as British Medical Journal and The Lancet that received overwhelming response from the doctors of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, working abroad.

These doctors have been working in institutions of high repute in UK, the US and other countries but they want to serve their own people due to which they have applied for the vacant positions.

Official says scores of highly qualified specialists working abroad want to serve their own people

LRH is well ahead of the other three institutions as far as the enforcement of Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act, 2015 is concerned as its administration is going to appoint people on key positions unlike the other institutions which are yet to take tangible steps.

Dr Barki said the process of wide-range recruitments at the hospital was in progress after which people would find all specialties and diagnostic services under the same roof.

“The Pakistani doctors, who have applied for jobs at LRH, could also be posted at Khyber Teaching Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar and Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad, the other MTI-covered hospitals to improve patients’ care,” he said.

According to him, the LRH Pharmacy will become operational later this month after which all the hospitalised patients will receive free medicines. “A new 40-line telephone exchange has been installed. About 90 new nurses have been appointed to strengthen patients’ care,” said Dr Barki.

He said that computerisation of LRH was in progress. “There will be a foolproof security system that will not allow entry of unwanted people to the hospital. Wards are being connected to a centralised system,” he said.

Sources at LRH said that about 400 doctors, including those from other provinces, had applied for different positions. Some two months ago, the BoG of LRH asked heads of various departments to inform it about the vacant posts that could be filled, they said.

The BoG was informed about the shortage of posts of consultants in neuro-surgery, orthopaedics, children, ophthalmology, paeds and plastic surgery, cardiology and cardiac surgery, medicines, surgery, ear nose and throat (ENT) and gynecology, they said.

Sources said that there were some specialties for which the government never tried to recruit people due to which patients had to travel to other provinces.

“The implementation of MTIRA has been proving a blessing in disguise. After two months, all specialties would be made available in LRH,” they added.

Sources said that overseas Pakistani doctors always expressed willingness to work in their own areas but they didn’t have chance to do so. Dr Tahir Shah, a trauma specialist working in Saudi Arabia, has been made a member of BoG at LRH. He is working to develop trauma services for the province.

“All the 10 members of the BoG have been working on voluntary basis to upgrade facilities for the local people,” they said.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2016