DERA GHAZI KHAN - Hundreds of students of Public Health Nursing School (PHNS) are being imparted substandard professional training by unqualified staff posted officially against the prescribed criteria of Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC) allegedly by Punjab Health Department.

It has been learnt that even the school management has failed to provide the facility of clean drinking water to students and each student pays Rs200 per month to acquire potable water.

The students who got enrolled in two-year Lady Health Visitor (LHV) Course of Session 2017-2019 regret over choosing the school. Mismanagement, malpractice, corruption, shortage of instructors and administrative staff has become routine matter in the school because many posts have been lying vacant since long.

As per detail, Mr Qalander Ali Mohsin, male health educator has been appointed on a female post of health educator in the PHNS by the health department.

Usually, the post of male health educator exists in the office of the chief executive officer (CEO) of DG Khan District Health Authority which is vacant too.

Astonishingly, Mohsin who is a contractual employee has been performing duty against the post of a female health educator as well as in-charge of female hostel and nursing instructor since 2009.

Likewise, one charge nurse Tahira Perveen has been posted as field supervisor in the PHNS, while the fact is that the post of field supervisor does not exist in the PHNS according to Finance Department order No SO (ND) 3-2/93 dated September 4, 1995. She has been serving on the post since December 31, 2011.

Similarly, two charge nurses Nasreen Dur Muhammad and Samia Dur Muhammad also do not fulfill the PNC criteria. But the former has been serving as Assistant Public Health Nursing Superintendent since December 31, 2011 and the latter as Domiciliary Midwifery Supervisor since March 21, 2013. All these officials have been performing duty since long in violation of the rules without fear of any accountability.

Disappointed aspect of illegal posting of staff is that a former PHNS principal has pointed out all these irregularities in a report vide letter No. 637/PHNS, DG Khan dated May 6, 2017 but the authorities concerned - Director General Nursing Punjab and Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education have taken no action so far on this official report.

The PHNS students, seeking anonymity, said that unavailability of qualified teachers was the main problem for them as they had to depend on the notes prepared by old students. They added that insanitation, garbage heaps could be seen scattered all over on the school premises. “Unhygienic food, shortage of staff and extortion in the name of school function party, recreation fund, photocopies of documents and purchase of books, from students has become the order of the day in the school,” they alleged.

They said that the authorities seemed least bothered to do something for the uplift of education standard in the nursing institution located in backward DG Khan district. As a consequence, education standards as per rules prescribed by Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC) are falling rapidly.