BAHAWALNAGAR-Patients and citizens have been facing difficulties for last three months because of the vacant post of radiologist at District Headquarters (DHQ) as they have to go to Bahawal Victoria Hospital (BVH) Bahawalpur for their medical treatment and receiving reports.

Locals including Dewan Azmat Mehmood Chishti, Pir Hussain Bodlah, Pir Munir Hashmi, Anjuman-e-Tajran President Sheikh Anwar, Grain Market President Rao Saleem Akhtar, DBA President Ali Shah and others said that in matters related to courts, patients were referred from tehsil headquarters hospitals to Bahawalnagar DHQ Hospital.

They said that earlier there was only one radiologist in the district at the DHQ hospital. Now, for the past three months, patients were being referred to the BVH after the seat of the radiologist fell vacant even at the DHQ hospital. People demanded that the health department resolve the issue.

Bahawalnagar Saddr SDPO Amjad Kamboh said that because of delay in getting medico-legal reports, investigation into cases was being affected and it also wasted the precious time of the investigating officers and prolonged the legal proceedings.

A few doctors at the DHQ hospital said the post of anaesthesiologist was also vacant at the hospital but the administration, on a temporary basis, got an anaesthesiologist to provide services for three days a week. They said that a similar arrangement, if the administration desired, could be made for a radiologist until a permanent person could be appointed.

DHQ hospital medical superintendent said that radiologist Liaquat Khalid retired last year, and he was re-appointed for a year on ad-hoc basis but his contract expired in March. “Since then,” he said, “no one could be appointed to the post. He added that orthopaedic surgeon Dr Amjad had been working as radiologist, and he issued reports in specific cases. Locals demand that health authorities take notice of it, adding that they must appoint a radiologist at DHQ hospital so that local patients may get health facilities at their hometown.

Chief Executive Officer-Health Dr Waseem Ahmed told The Nation that for the posting of a radiologist at the DHQ hospital, interviews were being conducted but doctors were reluctant to come to a backward area like Bahawalnagar. According to Dr Waseem, several paramedical posts were also vacant and could not be filled despite several attempts.