JHANG: District headquarters hospital authorities have dispensed with the Hospital Information Management System (HIMS) under which the functioning of the facility was computerised three years ago, and reverted to the parchi system again.

With this, the pilot project started by the previous Punjab government in 2017 has also been shelved. Resultantly, the entire system of the hospital has returned to manual functioning once again, including the online system of distribution of medicines as well as line monitors installed for the convenience of patients, depriving them of modern facilities.

A DHQ hospital source told this scribe the authorities had acquired the services of 30 IT personnel to operate the HIMS on three-year contracts that lapsed recently.

Later, it was decided to offer fresh contracts to only 10 successful applicants following a test. The posts were advertised and 10 candidates selected after a thorough examination. But the file is lying in the deputy commissioner’s office for final approval.

Three years ago, facility was computerised under govt’s information management system

As soon as the selection was approved, the computerised system will be restored, the source added.

Meanwhile, patients and their attendants visiting the DHQ Hospital have complained about the persisting absence of senior doctors in various departments from the outpatient department, leaving them at the mercy of inexperienced junior doctors.

This practice was mostly prevalent in the orthopaedic, children, gynae, surgical and medical wards. The senior doctors allegedly reached the hospital in the morning and returned home after marking their biometric attendance.

They then reportedly returned around 11am, took a round of the hospital for an hour and headed to their private clinics. The patients and their relatives have lodged repeated protests against this practice, but they are sent back every time after promises of inquiries, while no action has yet been taken against any doctor.

However, when former health chief executive officer Dr Samiullah had taken action against some senior doctors and made it compulsory for them to ensure their presence in the outdoor department during duty hours, the medics had gone on strike for several days. Consequently, the Punjab government was forced to transfer Dr Samiullah.

Medical Superintendent Dr Irtaza Shah told this scribe that the complaints of patients were genuine, but since he took charge the situation had improved and he was doing his best to address the grievances.

The deputy commissioner has directed the DHQ Hospital authorities to ensure the presence of senior doctors in their offices in indoor wards or outpatient department.

Talking to the media, the DC said he had issued these orders on receiving complaints from patients and their relatives as well as media reports for several weeks.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2020

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