Popular decisions, unpopular outcomes of health sector

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has continued to take popular decisions in health sectors despite its unpopular outcomes. In latest decision, the KP government has decided to outsource management of eight more secondary healthcare hospitals to improve the provision of medical services of remote areas of the province where the health facilities are not up to the mark. It has decided to outsource these healthcare centers initially for the period of five years through Public Private Partnership Act 2020.

Proposed hospitals

According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s House and published in yesterday’s newspapers, these medical centers include District Headquarters Hospital Wana, South Waziristan, DHQ Hospital Kohistan, Category D Hospital Bazar Zakhakhel Khyber, Category D Hospital Razmak North Waziristan, Category D Hospital Alizai Kurram, Category D Hospital Pusht Bajaur, Category D Hospital Mamund Bajaur and Category D Hospital Nawagai Bajaur.

Around the clock service

The statement said that under the Public-Private Partnership, medical centers in these proposed remote areas would be activated 24 hours a day and provision of medical staff, medical equipment, medicines and other facilities including doctors would be ensured in these centers.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister termed the outsourcing of management and administration of these medical centers as an important step to improve the provision of medical facilities in these centers and said that this initiative would enable treatment in these health centers in remote areas.

In his address to the contract signing ceremony, Chief Minister said that this step will help improve the services of the people and make them in line with the expectations and needs of the people, people will be provided better treatment facilities at their doorstep and they will not have to travel to cities for this purpose. He said that the present provincial government is committed to provide quality medical treatment to the people of remote areas of the province at the local level and was taking concrete steps for this purpose under a comprehensive plan for which significant results were emerging.

Why doctors resigning at MTI hospitals

There is no doubt that the statement issued by the Chief Minister’s House and the steps taken in this statement are very pleasing and commendable but there is no doubt that aside the villages of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, especially the remote areas of the integrated districts, the situation is also very worrying in the major teaching hospitals of the provincial capital itself including LRH, KTH and HMC, where senior doctors are resigning one after another. Not only that but also the public complaints about the facilities provided in these hospitals are increasing. However, even in this severe weather where the relatives of the patients and some of the patients are forced to sleep on the frozen floors and cold ground, in some departments four patients are seen lying on each bed.

Even the country’s highest court have expressed concern over the performance of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s hospitals. Keeping in views all these reasons, government should show a remarkable performance instead of taking popular decisions. We believe that on the day when the provincial government succeeds in showing a remarkable performance, the people themselves will acknowledge it and for this the residents of the Chief Minister’s House do not have to bother to issue such statements and announcements.

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