NAROWAL: The Pakistan Citizen Portal has sought a report from the District Health Authority on the harassment allegations of a doctor against her colleague.

A dental surgeon at the DHQ Hospital submitted a harassment complaint on the citizen’s portal against a medical officer of the hospital. The portal has sought a report from the health secretary on the complaint and directed the authority chief executive officer (CEO) to take immediate action.

The surgeon told Dawn that on Aug 6 she had met Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shahid Zaman Lak, who is also the chairman of the Narowal health authority, and complained about facing harassment by the medical officer.

The DC sought a report from the authority’s CEO after an inquiry, however the report was brushed under the carpet owing to political pressure, she alleged.

Sources said the suspect medical officer’s father is an influential worker of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and is active in local party politics. She said when no action was taken, she complained on the citizen’s portal.

“The medical officer is also well connected in the health department. He will harass me repeatedly while on duty. With the connivance of a senior official in the admin, he got me appointed to screen coronavirus patients, which was not my duty. Despite performing my duty, I was served explanation letters.”

She alleged that several times the medical officer had asked her to meet him and would send her text messages. She said she had submitted copies of the text messages to the inquiry officer.

“To harass me further, I was shifted from the morning to evening shift and on that pretext my application is being rejected. I have told off the medical officer several times, but to no avail. Senior doctors are also pressing me to withdraw my application.”

Meanwhile, the medical officer refuted the allegations of the surgeon.

“The duty roster is made by the MS, not me. A lobby is targeting me and if there is any evidence, it should be brought to light.”

MS Dr Afzal said the surgeon was like his daughter.

“She did not consult or talk to me before filing the application. I’m trying to reconcile the two.”

District Health Authority CEO Dr Hafiz Muhammad Khalid said: “There can be misunderstandings between doctors. We will conduct an inquiry as per law.”

Deputy Commissioner Lak said the CEO had been asked to submit an inquiry report.

“As soon as it is received, legal action will be taken as per law.”

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2020