Double time, double trouble


Ppi April 12, 2010

SIALKOT: The Punjab government was actively considering a positive proposal to launch double shifts for doctors and paramedical staff in all the basic health units (BHUs) across Punjab.

The primary aim behind the proposed measures was to provide better and advanced medical and health cover to locals at the local level. Also the government health department has expressed its concern over frequent instances of negligence in district healthcare as there are few doctors and thought to redress this grievance.

“A majority of rural areas still do not have access to stable health cover due to the single shifts by doctors and paramedical staff at BHUs,” said EDO health Dr Syed Talat Iqbal, who added that new ambulances were also being provided to the BHUs.

Pakistan Muslim League- N (PML-N) MPA Jamil Ashraf Baryar said that Punjab chief minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif has allocated Rs.6.5 billion for providing advanced medical and health facilities to the people closer to their residence in rural areas.

Sialkot district coordination officer (DCO) Mujahid Sher Dil said that 31 basic health units (BHUs) out of a total 88 BHUs had been upgraded in the Sialkot district.

The DCO said that the special labour rooms, emergency rooms and advanced medical test laboratories had been established for providing clinical test facilities at a local level, besides, ensuring smooth provision of medicines to patients.

The medical community has reacted strongly to the government’s proposal stating that that most doctors were already over-worked and were carrying too much responsibility.

Dr Khawaja Abbasas said that the government was ‘foolish’ if it thought that negligence cases would be reduced by doubling doctor’s shifts.

“If anything, the increased workload will only increase instances of negligence. What the district healthcare system needs is not more hours put in by doctors but more doctors putting in hours,” he said.

The provincial government maintains that it is working to inculcate positive changes in the healthcare system as well as the aptitude of doctors and paramedical staff towards patients.

“Doctors need to be punctual and take a deeper interest in their patients as most negligence cases occur because of delays by medical staff in treating the patient until his or her condition has worsened beyond repair,” Dil said.

Former MNA Sahibzada Syed Iftikharul Hassan Shah, district health officer (DHO) Sialkot Dr Muhammad Shakeel Butt, DDO (health) Daska Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Chaudhary, DDO (Health) Sambrial Dr Munim Javaid, Punjab CM health monitoring committee coordinator Asif Mehmood Soni and senior vice president of Daska civil hospital patients’ welfare Society Zafar Malik were also present for the briefing.

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