BOONI: The gynae/obs department of the Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospital Booni has been without a lady doctor for about two months after the doctor was transferred to the Chitral town without any replacement.
Since then, demands by the people of the area to appoint a doctor at the department have fallen on deaf ears.
Instead of ensuring basic healthcare and providing missing facilities in the only public sector hospital catering to the whole upper Chitral, the health department transferred
Dr Zarina Azam, a resident of Lon village, to Chitral town two months back and her replacement is still awaited.
The transfer of the only lady doctor from the hospital has left women patients of the whole upper Chitral in the lurch as they cannot afford treatment in private medical centres.
District Council member Husool Begum and Nazimeen Forum representatives, including patron-in-chief Vor Muhammad, Muhammad Pervez Lal and vice president Ghulam Sarwar, on Thursday held a meeting here and expressed their concerns and anguish over the failure of the health department to fill the vacant post of the lady doctor.
They said in the absence of a lady doctor all delivery cases were being conducted by paramedical staff, including LHVs, putting the lives of the patients at risk. Besides, ultrasound on the women patients was being conducted by male doctors.
Under these circumstances, most of the people hesitate to bring their patients to the hospitals and as a result the expecting women are forced to opt for home deliveries at the great risk of their health and that of their babies.
The public representatives told ChitralToday that since the transfer of the lady doctor they had taken up the matter with all the authorities concerned but to no avail.
They said a a last resort they have now decided that if the government did not appoint a lady doctor at the hospital within 10 days they would hold a protest sit-in in Booni.
They said the woman district council member warned that if the doctor was not appointed soon she would also join the protest sit-in along with women of her area. They said the transfer and posting of doctors and other officials was the legal right of the government and a routine matter but removal of a doctor from a government hospital located in a remote and backward area without making any replacement was an injustice with the patients as well as a human rights violation.
They appealed to the secretary health, district health officer and other authorities concerned to post a female doctor to the THQ hospital without further delay.