The availability of doctors in Medical Teaching Institutes (MTI) hospitals and other health facilities around the clock in the remote districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is a problem that is far from solved despite all efforts of the provincial government.
The Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) has sent a report to the KP Health Department pointing out that most MTI hospitals are closed after the evening and senior doctors leave after one o’clock in the afternoon while d Other staff were also found absent from duty in most cases.
“These hospitals have been established in the remote district of KP to facilitate the general public and provide quality treatment facilities in their own district so that they do not have to travel to Peshawar and other districts , but it has been found that these hospitals are not operating 24 hours a day,” an official from the provincial health department said in an interview with The Express Tribune.
“If local hospitals are not operating at full capacity, people will have to defiantly travel to Peshawar which is very expensive considering the state of inflation in the country,” he said, adding that strict action had been recommended.
“According to the report, MS, DMS along with senior physicians, specialists and administrative staff work till 1 p.m. every day in district and teaching hospitals, but during the night, no senior physician or administrative staff work. ‘exercising its duty so that patients cannot be treated and sent elsewhere,’ the official said, adding that most hospitals are closed at night.
“It was found that even in the afternoon, doctors and paramedics were regularly absent from their service. Laboratories and x-ray rooms were also found locked and counters set up for Sehat Card were also found closed,” he said.
“It forced patients to go to private hospitals. The report has been sent to the health department and it has been forwarded to the provincial government for strict action,” he said.
University hospitals are supposed to provide round the clock treatment facilities but the reality on the ground is very different despite the fact that the IMU was established with the aim of controlling hospitals and other health units but even that does not did not change the situation. a lot. Strict measures have been recommended against doctors who will be found absent during duty hours in order to rectify this situation. The official said doctors are leaving their departments and going to their private clinics. Hospitals are closed at night so that patients go to their private hospitals.
It can be recalled that in an effort to provide better health facilities to the people, the Provincial Health Department has started operating the underutilized health facilities in some districts under public-private partnership ( PPP).
This was revealed during a meeting with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the presidency last year. The meeting took stock of the impacts of the reforms introduced on the position and deliberated on issues related to improving the health service delivery system in the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25and2022.