PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department has said all vacant posts of doctors and paramedics in public sector hospitals will be filled within a week.
The government is also planning to hire doctors on ad hoc basis until the positions can be filled. In addition, the department is looking to equip hospitals in less developed areas with better technology so patients can get treatment in their home districts and burden on the three tertiary care hospitals in Peshawar, particularly the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), is decreased.
According to data obtained from the department, around 40% senior posts in hospitals remain vacant.
At the inauguration of the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Services at LRH on Wednesday, Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said chief executive officers of all hospitals have been asked to submit a report on the vacancies in their institutions within three days.
Yousafzai assured the revenue allocated for LRH will only be used to treat patients and not to increase the provincial exchequer.
Briefing the audience, the minister said liver transplantation is one of the major health issues for hepatitis C patients, which costs Rs7 million abroad. The provincial government will try to reduce the cost of treatment to Rs2.5 million in public sector hospitals of the province, he claimed.
Also speaking at the inauguration, Head of Department of Ophthalmology Dr Zafar Iqbal, said out of the 20 million people residing in K-P and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, around 10% develop retinopathy each year and 0.2 million require screening.
“After we install the Non-Mydriatic Fundus Camera in LRH, thousands of patients would get treatment and if diabetes is detected earlier, there is 80% less chance of blindness,” he added.
Sharing some statistics from last year, the head of department said 673,738 patients visited the out-patient department (OPD), 622,212 were reported at the Accident and Emergency Department, while 120,663 patients were admitted and 53,876 patients visited the Ophthalmology OPD at LRH.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2013.
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