CHITRAL: As many as 20 of 24 posts of district specialists in the district headquarters hospital (DHQ), Chitral, have been lying vacant, hampering delivery of health services to the people.

According to details gathered from the office of medical superintendant of the hospital, there were 18 departments in this category-B hospital with 24 sanctioned posts in three tiers of grade-18 to 20, of which two posts of medical specialists and one each of ENT and child specialist are filled.

It was learnt that two posts each of cardiologist and orthopaedic specialists and one of specialist each in the pathology, anesthesia, chest, gastroenterology, psychology, urology, gynaecology, nephrology, physiotherapy, skin, children and radiology departments had been lying vacant for the last five years.

The hospital is also short of general duty doctors, as 43 of the sanctioned posts of 78 of different cadres ranging from grade-17 to 20 have been lying vacant.

The local people have been facing severe problems due to unavailability of surgical specialist in the hospital, as the patients are left no option but to travel to Peshawar even for a small surgery. Similarly, the post of eye specialist has been lying vacant for last five years.

A source in the hospital told this correspondent that since elevation of the hospital in 2005 to category-B, 24 posts of district specialists had been sanctioned, but most the departments were still to see a specialist doctor working there.

He said that over 10 posts of clinical technologist (grade-17) and as many of chief technicians in pathology, radiology, surgery, anesthesia and physiotherapy (grade-16) are vacant due to which the medical instruments and machinery at the hospital remained unused after their arrival 10 years ago.

“The hospital has four ventilators bought 12 years ago, but these are yet to be operationalised and same is the case with the dialysis machine,” he said.

Dr Shamim, medical superintendent of the hospital, when contacted, confirmed that many key posts of specialists had been vacant at the hospital.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2020

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