BAHAWALPUR: A lady health visitor attempted suicide on Saturday night, allegedly in protest against lack of action by health department over her complaint of “sexual harassment” by a doctors at her workplace.

Dawn has learnt that the LHV (name withheld) of Sahiwal district is posted at the Basic Health Unit (BHU) at Basti Iqbal Rana in Khairpur Tamewali tehsil, about 45kms from here.

In her earlier complaint to health authorities, she stated that she lived alone on the premises of the BHU where the in-charge doctor had allegedly been sexually harassing her during the duty hours for more than a month.

She stated that on Dec 2, the doctor called her during night time and hurled threats at her on her refusal to have a relationship with him.

After the health authorities concerned did not take any action on her complaint, she posted a Whatsapp message in which she narrated her ordeal.

Dejected over apathy of health authorities, she allegedly took a heavy dosage of tranquilisers to end her life.

Her family, after coming to know about the situation, brought her to the emergency ward of the Bahawal Victoria Hospital (BVH) here.

As per the BVH doctors involved in her treatment, she was out of danger now.

District Health Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Ghulam Yaseen Sabir told Dawn that on the complaint of the LHV, an inquiry into the matter was instituted and the doctor who was found guilty was transferred from the Basti Iqbal Rana BHU.

The CEO said that further departmental action was also recommended to Bahawalpur deputy commissioner against the doctor. He added that the DC was the competent authority to take action on such complaint.

Regarding LHV’s attempted suicide, Dr Sabir said police were also informed of the incident that would be further probed into.

Police PRO Asim Faheem claimed the LHV was shifted to the BVH on the orders of the District Police Officer Mr Sohaib who was himself supervising the case inquiry. He said further details would be made public soon.

As per health officials, the BHU in charge denies the allegations leveled by the LHV, claiming that it was a conspiracy against him hatched at the behest of deputy director health (DDH).

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2019