Opening of major hospital in Charsadda faces delay

October 29, 2017

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The building of Women and Children Hospital in Charsadda. — Dawn photo
The building of Women and Children Hospital in Charsadda. — Dawn photo

CHARSADDA: The Women and Children Hospital in Rajar constructed at a cost of Rs1.5 billion about two years ago is yet to be made functional, which belies the claim of PTI-led government about health emergency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Costly machinery worth millions of rupees is lying useless and on the verge of rusting, sources said, adding that the health department is yet to appoint staff at the hospital. They said that political interference and lack of interest by the provincial government had been causing delay in opening of the hospital.

The previous ANP-led government had allocated Rs1.5 billion for construction of this project in 2012. Officials said that it would be one of the largest hospitals for mother and child healthcare in the country.

Project completed at a cost of Rs1.5bn two years ago

The 200-bed hospital would have the facilities such as oxygen kits, modern laboratory, blood bank, emergency/casualty ward, OPDs, operation theatre, ultrasound machines, rest house for attendants, etc. The residents said that the present government was using delaying tactics because the hospital was announced by the former ANP-led government.

The PTI-led government has allocated Rs435 million for the hospital in the current fiscal year, but so far only Rs5 million had been released. The local people said that the MPAs and nazims from the area had failed to raise voice at any forum for opening of the hospital. An official said that that the health department had approved a bill for appointment of staff, but the same was stuck in the finance department.

Hospital director Gohar Rehman said that this was a provincial project and the health department had completed all responsibilities in this regard. He said that the hospital would be opened soon. During a visit last year the provincial secretary health had announced that the gynae ward would also be shifted from the district headquarters hospital to the new Women and Children Hospital.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2017