PESHAWAR: To ensure provision of quality healthcare to the people, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Health Regulatory Authority has decided to open three new offices in the province to keep an eye on unregistered medical practitioners.
HRA Chairperson Muhammad Muzaffar Khan told The Express Tribune that offices will be established in Hazara, Malakand and Bannu districts. “The understaffed head office has limited resources and cannot control the growing number of hakeems across the province nor can it [effectively] address public complaints,” he said.
Currently, only four inspectors are working at the head office to address public complaints received from throughout the province. “The government will hire new staff on the district level with two inspectors at each office,” he said. “The provincial government has authorised district coordination officers to seal all unregistered laboratories and clinics.”
Khan said that the offices will be opened in rented buildings until the construction of new offices. “The provincial health department sanctioned Rs2.6 million for opening offices in July. Initially, staff will be hired on six-month contracts,” he said.
The staff at the new offices will send their weekly and monthly reports to the head office, and contracts may be extended for another six months, depending on employee performance.
The office at Bannu will monitor Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Kohat, Karak, Hangu and Tank districts, while Hazara and Malakand offices will monitor their respective divisions by keeping a check on hakeems.
The new staff will work in close coordination with DCOs, ACOs and EDO (health). Khan said that the move will help ensure provision of quality health facilities that would control several chronic diseases caused due to unhygienic treatment.
The HRA, established in 2002, is an independent authority comprising a chairman, secretary, four inspectors, three office assistants, four junior clerks and one managing director with a total annual budget of Rs20 million. The HRA is responsible for registration of clinics and laboratories and to issue a fee structure to doctors and laboratories.
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