KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah taking an unprecedented policy decision has ordered to recruit all the 6,000 doctors who have qualified written test of Sindh Public Service Commission conduct recently for selection of 2,700 doctors so that all the hospitals, rural as well as urban, could be made functional to their maximum capacity.

He took this decision while presiding over a high level meeting to overhaul health department to improve health services all over the province. The meeting was attended by Minister Health Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Chief Secretary Siddique Memon, ACS (Dev) M Waseem, Secretary Health Usman Chachar, Secretary Finance Hassan naqvi, DG health, heads of different programmes of the health and other concerned officers.

Briefing the chief minister, Health Secretary Usman Chachar said that there were 64701 sanctioned strength of staff in the health department, out of them 7948 are vacant, including 6153 of doctors, 10 pharmacists, 23 drug administrators, 210 nurses, 1214 paramedics and others and 338 LHWs.

Replying to a question, the secretary said that the health department had requisitioned 2700 positions of doctors from Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC). Over 10,000 doctors applied for SPSC test, of them 6000 have passed written test.

“Hospitals are not functioning properly due to shortage of staff. This is important and I have already imposed emergency to province health services unhindered to the people of Sindh,” the chief minister said.

The chief minister said that without wasting time of the government and poor people of this province offer recruitment to all the 6000 doctors forthwith. He directed the chief secretary to look into the rules and remove legal issues, if occurs any, and recruitment them and report him.

He said there were credible reports that substandard medicines were being sold in the market. On this secretary health said that the drug testing lab was not functional. He asked who Director Drug Control Authority, the secretary said Dr Qaiser Abbas who has the charge of chief drug inspector.

The chief minister asked him how many meeting of the authority he has called and what is his performance. He ordered the chief secretary to put the services of Dr Qaiser under suspension right now. “I need selfless workers, efficient and hardworking there is no space for d lethargic, unwilling and inefficient team members,” he said.

The chief minister was told that Sindh government has 1791 health facilities, including RHC, BHCs, MCHCs, clinics, dispensaries, unani shifa khan and homeopathic dispensaries. The government has given 998 health facilities to PPHI and 783 are being run by the department.

He added that apartment from it health department runs 16 DHQs, 49 THQs, 27 major hospitals and nine tertiary level care facility. The health department also runs 74 health universities, medical, dental colleges, nursing schools and others.

Giving details of health indicators, secretary health Mr Chachar said that the infant mortality rate recorded in 2014 is 82 live births. Child mortality rate upto 5 years of age is also 104 per 1000 live births. There are 65.7 percent births are done by skilled attendants, the figure of institutional deliveries has been recorded at 64 percent. There is 79.7 percent proportion of antenatal care, 71.8 percent proportion of postnatal care and total fertility rate is 4 while contraceptive prevalence rate has been recorded at 29 percent. On this the chief minister expressed his displeasure and said that every health indicator must be improved by improving health services.

In the province 11 different programmes and project in health sectors were in progress which include EPI; LHWs programme for family planning & primary health care; maternal & Neonatal Child Health Programme; TB Control; Prevention & Cntrol of Hepatitis; Prevention & Control of Blindness; Malaria control; Nutrition Support; Enhanced HIV/AIDS programme; Child Survival Programme and Dengue Control & Prevention Programme.

The chief minister said that he was not satisfied with the performance of these programme. “I want you to refix your targets and show me progress of these programmes and projects,” he said and asked them “just you have to be vigilant, efficient and expensive to the needs, that’s,” he concluded. 

The chief minister was told that four cases of polio have been reported during 2016 which include two in Shikarpur, one in Jacobabad and one in Karachi. In measles 1,193 cases were reported which claimed 14 lives. Similarly, 1367 dengue cases were reported in which three had lost their lives. Only two cases of Naegleria were reported and both the patients succumbed.

On this the chief minister said that polio has earned bad name to Pakistan. “I am committed to eradicate polio from Sindh for which everyone has to work hard with me,” he said and directed chief secretary to arrange him meetings with all commissioners and deputy commissioner to give them targets.

He also added that he was not happy with the measles reported cases. These diseases have been wiped out from almost all the backward countries of the world but still our people are suffering from it, he said. 

Murad Ali Shah said that he had lot of respect for doctors but it become their responsibility to serve the ailing poor people who had no option but to go to public sector hospitals for their treatment. “The government is spending around Rs33 billion on non-salary expenditures of health department, therefore we expect health services accordingly,” he said.

he said that people have lot of complaints that the doctors in government health facilities were referring them to private labs for tests and medical stores for medicines. ‘What is this why this attitude has been adopted. I would not allow further deterioration in public health service,” he said loudly and directed health minister to install banners for public awareness to get medicines from the hospital and don’t purchase medicines from private stores.

He directed minister and secretary health to change the programme heads of different projects if they are not performing. “Today it is very loud message that no recommendation for transfer and posting would be entertained,” he aid and added that this would be done purely on performance.  He gave powers of grade B-19 and 20 transfer/posting powers to minister health.

The chief minister also directed the health department to establish a command & control center at their conference hall on 6th floor of New Sindh Secretariat to monitor health services. He also ordered the department to develop a software to keep record of their employees/doctors which include their complete service record, and other data of hospital-wise medicine, disbursement, performance of vertical programmes and other health services. He also ordered the health secretary to send him proposal for overhauling of health department.

 

 “I would bifurcate it into two departments, if it is necessary,” he said.

Syed Murad Ali shah concluding the meeting ordered the chief secretary to hold Departmental promotion Committee (DPC) meetings and promote which are in the promotion zone. “You must have undisputed a seniority list for promotion,” he said.