Chitral — Participants of a meeting convened to discuss matters relating to the partnership THQ hospital harshly criticized AKHSP and DHO for their failure to make the hospital fully operational despite the lapse of four years. The meeting had been called by Aga Khan Local Council Garam Chashma and attended by the Presidents and members of Garam Chashma and Parabeg Councils, besides AKHSP Board Director, Portfolio member from Regional Council and notables of the area.
Outgoing Chairman of the Hospital Committee explained the reasons for his resignation from the position which included apathy and incompetence of AKHSP decision makers to take necessary steps to make the hospital fully functional by making available promised specialized medical and Para-medical services. The absence of these services and the lame excuses presented by AKHSP again and again left no option for him except to resign.
Participants subjected the role of both the partners to scathing criticism. It was pointed out that by not convening a single meeting of District Health Committee the DHO failed to play his supervisory role to pressurize AKHSP to provide the services mentioned in the MOU. The local community played its full role in making the premise livable by ensuring potable water supply, rehabilitating sanitation system and landscape improvement. AKPBS carried out retrofitting and CAHSS project supplied medical equipment. But these state of the art facilities still need expert handling to become useful.
The meeting deplored that AKHSP neither could find gynecologist and medical specialist nor could issue duty roster obliging its general surgeon to attend to surgical cases in the THQ at least once in a week as promised to the community. The most unfortunate part was that a patient is charged Rs.100/ for entry slip only to be told after entry that there was no one to see him and that he should go to DHQ in Chitral. Hospital staff constantly face security situation due to the absence of security wall around the hospital and is facing court action on that count.
To add salt to injury even the routine decision making machinery has been shifted to Karachi where everything from passing a small bill to buying medicines are centralized which frequently leads to shortage of medicines and loss of clients owing to delayed payments. The presence of diarchy in the hospital, with Government and AKHSP employees following different rules and work ethics has undermined the capacity of the hospital to present a united look and equal motivation.
The meeting urged AKHSP to deliver on its promises and MOU provisions for the remaining one year of the partnership period making the experiment a success. It was observed that the present AKHSP set up lacked capacity and commitment and it required reshuffle to come up to the expectations of the people, who do not want their sacrifices to go waste by returning the hospital to Government ownership on expiry of the 5 year partnership period for the failure of AKHSP. — Report by Islamuddin, 26 Nov 2016