BAHAWALNAGAR - Fifty-six posts of doctors have been lying vacant at District Headquarters Hospital of Bahawalnagar for a long time. The unreasonable delay in the recruitments has exposed the government’s tall claims regarding provision of healthcare facilities to the public.

The district is considered to be neglected region regarding healthcare and education facilities. There are 13 vacant posts of senior medical officers, 8 posts of senior women medical officers, 6 posts of specialists, 11 posts of medical officers, 3 posts women medical officers, 2 assistant professors and 8 posts of nurses are laying vacant.

Recruitments of 20 house job doctors are also required. Thus, the patients at the hospital are not treated properly as a number of protests by the relatives of deceased patients who died at the hospital have been reported. The attendants are also seen manhandling the doctors but the authorities concerned are not willing to recruit doctors at the hospital.

In such an incident occurred recently, Azhar Arif  was taken to DHQ Hospital in critical condition. He had suffered bullet injuries in the head during a robbery. His relatives put pressure on the doctors present there to save his life at any cost but the injured succumbed to his injuries despite efforts. The relatives of the deceased staged a demonstration against the doctors by laying siege to the hospital and also manhandled them.

Nazir Ahmad, an attendant, alleged that his granddaughter died due to negligence the doctor. Another attendant said that her husband was admitted to the hospital but the doctor on duty did not pay heed to save him. The local people have demanded that the officials concerned should recruit more doctors to facilitate them.

The DHQ Hospital was established in 1953 with 74-bed capacity which has now been raised to 259 beds. It is situated in the heart of the town and covers an area of 54 acres with 355 employees. It is a major health facility for the district population of 2,455,134. Not only patients across the district but also from its adjacent areas like Pakpattan, Arifwala etc are taken  to the DHQ Hospital for treatment.