CHITRAL: Of the recently recruited 1,299 doctors in the provincial health department, 64 were posted to hospitals in Lower Chitral, including nine to its district headquarters hospital, and 19 in Upper Chitral district whose total comes to 83.

A knowledgeable source in the health department told this scribe that no woman medical officer was posted to Drosh THQ hospital, Lower Chitral, where four posts of lady doctors were lying vacant since long.

The local people had launched an agitation against vacant posts of lady doctors in the hospital in January last, but they were pacified by a commitment of the local MPA.

Similarly, THQ hospital of Booni, the district headquarters of Upper Chitral, did not get any lady doctor against five vacant posts of woman medical officers where people had already held protests over the issue.

The source said thatseven civil dispensaries in Lower Chitral and four in Upper Chitral had been given a medical officer each which could be run by a health technician as such facilities were housed in a single rented room with no accommodation facility for the doctor.

He said that of the 83 doctors, only nine were residents of Chitral and the non-local doctors needed accommodation facilities without which they would not be able to stay in far-flung villages.

He said there were 21 basic health units (BHUs) in both the districts with two sanctioned posts of medical officers in each of them lying vacant for the last three years. “In the recent postings, over 12 BHUs did not get any doctor,” he said.

The source said that the postings needed rationalisation so that the BHUs got doctors to provide primary healthcare facilities to the people on their doorstep.

When contacted, district health officer Dr Haiderul Mulk admitted that posting of new doctors in Chitral needed rationalisation on need basis for which the competent authority was being approached.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2020

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