LAHORE – Government officials and elected representatives made only 83 visits to the monitored dispensaries from June-August 2012, meaning at least 50 per cent facilities were ignored altogether, says a Free and Fair Election (Fafen) report.

The report released on Friday said low oversight often leaves staff at dispensaries taking little interest in their duties. Therefore, informed and regular oversight ensures institutions perform better.

Fafen monitors visited 167 dispensaries in 99 districts to collect relevant data and assessed their overall condition. The monitors found medical staff (doctors) not posted at 28 per cent dispensaries. However, among paramedical staff, the men’s occupancy rate was 90 per cent and for women staff 80 per cent.

Similarly, watchmen and sanitary workers’ (support staff) occupancy stood at 91 per cent and 83 per cent. Assessment of general facilities showed 29 per cent dispensaries having no boundary walls with 40 per cent operating out of dilapidated buildings; 46 per cent did not have arrangements for clean drinking water for patients; 50 per cent had no lavatories with running water; 27 per cent lacked proper shades/places for waiting patients; 56 per cent were without sterilisersand 36 per cent lacked syringe cutters.

Fafen observers interviewed three patients at each dispensary for their views on staff’s performance. Although most of those interviewed seemed satisfied, 35 per cent patients expressed dissatisfaction, complaining the doctors did not give enough time to attend to them.

The monitors also reported 29 per cent doctors not present the day they visited the dispensaries.