DADU, April 18: Sindh Health Minister Shabbir Ahmed Qaimkhani has said that about 13,000 vacancies in different categories are lying vacant in the health department and 4,000 doctors, paramedics and other health officials will be appointed soon.

He said that a ban on recruitment continued for 14 years. As a result, there is a shortage of doctors and other staff in hospitals.

He was talking to reporters at the Dadu civil hospital here on Tuesday.

EDO (health) Dr Dhani Bux Thebo and civil surgeon Dr Syed Ghous Ali Shah were present on the occasion.

The minister said that due to political interference doctors were not attending hospitals in the remote areas.

He said that owing to political interference in Thar, the home district of Sindh chief minister, and his own district Mirpurkhas, doctors were not performing duties at health centres.

He said that 700 doctors had cleared the commission but the chief minister had cancelled their results.

He said that the chief minister had agreed to appoint doctors on the contract basis at the district level and they would not be transferred from their native district.

He said that in developed countries, sufficient budget was allocated for health and education.

He said that in our country, it was not the case and 47 per cent literary rate was recorded so we have to improve the education and health system.

He said that buildings of health centres were constructed but staff was not appointed hence a majority of the buildings were lying vacant.

He said that the SNE of the health centres would be approved to run them properly.

He said that during nine years, promotions of doctors were stopped but this was first time that 1,000 doctors were promoted from BPS-17 to 18, BPS-18 to 19 and BPS-19 to 20 this year.

He said that service structure issue of the paramedical staff was genuine and he had sent requirements to the finance department and the Sindh chief minister but the finance department had not approved it due to some technical reasons.

He said that now the matter was before the committee of health officials and after its recommendations it would be sent to the finance department.

Replying to a question about corruption in the purchase of machinery of a hospital in Hyderabad, he said that he had formed a committee, headed by additional secretary health (procurement).

He said that the committee had completed its report which would be made public within two days and action would be taken against officials involved in the matter.

He said that the Sindh government had asked the secretary health and the director-general of the Sindh health services not to issue statements against each other.

He said that the Manjhand hospital was upgraded as the taluka hospital and added that funds were not allocated for trauma centre Jamshoro.

GOVT CRITICISED: Senator Khalid Mehmood Soomro has said that federal and provincial governments have failed to control law and order as terrorist activities are increasing in the country.

Speaking at a Seerat-un-Nabi conference here on Sunday night, he said that the relatives of the deceased ulema of Sunni Tehrik were exposing evidences against the people involved in killings but the government was not ready to take action for arresting terrorists.