Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd ) Maqbool Baqar presiding over a meeting of the health department has expressed his displeasure on the poor functioning of most of the government hospitals and other health facilities where neither the attendance of the staff members has been ensured nor the labs and operation theatres were working properly.
“During my visits to government hospitals right from Karachi to Sehwan and up to Sukkur found them a total mess where male and female patients were kept without segregation into the Emergency Wards and most of the staff members were absent when checked the attendance registers,” he said and added the patients were receiving medicines from the hospitals’ pharmacies.
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The meeting was attended by Minister Law Omer Soomro, Chief Secretary Dr Fakhre Alam, Secretary Finance Kazim Jatoi, Secretary Health Dr Mansoor, Vice Chancellor JSMC Dr Amjad Siraj, Executive Director JPMC Prof Shahid Rasool, Prof Dr Anwar of SIUT and other concerned.
Justice Baqar said that the provincial government has allocated a handsome amount of Rs234.29 billion for the Health depart for the year 2023-24, out of which Rs53.17 billion has been earmarked for operational expenditures. “Are we using the budget in the public interest properly by repairing and maintaining the equipment,” he questioned and deplored that the ambulances were not working, the operation theatres had been neglected, medicines were not given to the patients and the patients were being referred to private Labs instead of conducting their tests indoor,” he said.
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The Chief Minister expressed his displeasure that the health department despite his clear instructions the health department’s officers were not conducting inspections of the health facilities. “You have DG health, Directors, DHOs and even the directorate of inspection but even then no inspection has been made so far,” he told the secretary health.
Justice Baqar directed the Secretary Health to improve the inspection system and keep posting inspection reports.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th2023.