ISLAMABAD - Around 2,000 autopsy and clinical reports from across Punjab are pending with the Punjab Health Department with majority of them awaiting compilation for over a year, it is learnt. According to details, the forensic medicine departments in all the 36 districts of Punjab led by a medico-legal district officer in each district send complicated autopsy and clinical reports to Office of Clinical Examiner working under Punjab Health Department to ascertain the cause of deaths or verify the respective clinical results. Most of the autopsy reports include those cases in which the cause of death entails poisoning, excessive drinking or drugs while clinical reports include rape cases, alcohol and drug tests. According to sources, 90 per cent of these autopsy and clinical reports are sent to Clinical Examiner office in Lahore while the remaining 10 per cent are sent to Rawalpindi and Multan. Roughly, in every district over 50 reports are reportedly pending which make the collective number of pending autopsy and clinical reports between 1,800 and 2,000 in Punjab. After the Government of Punjab subordinated the Office of Clinical Examiner to the Office of Surgeon Medico-Legal, the situation changed to a great deal and foul play in reports compiling was reduced. The incumbent Medico-legal Surgeon Captain (Retd) Dr Waseem Haider had reportedly taken on the tout mafia involved in the tampering of reports to eliminate the corruption nexus between Office of Clinical Examiner, tout mafia and Punjab police. Although, Dr Waseem Haider is the only Pakistani doctor to have acquired doctorate degree in forensic medicine and holds the reputation of being an upright physician, the pendency of autopsy and clinical records is still huge. A Faisalabad-based family who approached TheNation on this issue, sought the intervention of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif into the matter. The family said that the post-mortem report of their deceased family member was pending since May 26 this year. Zafar Manzoor, brother of the deceased Azhar Manzoor said that his brother suddenly fainted and died on May 25 2011 on his way to the market. The next day, his post-mortem was conducted by the Department of Forensic Medicine in Faisalabad and subsequent report was sent to Office of Clinical Examination in Lahore to ascertain the death cause. Zafar said that he was told that the medical report would return from Lahore within three weeks but it was pending till date. The bereaved family claims it has sent several reminders to Clinical Examiner office in Lahore but to no avail. We request CM Punjab for intervention, Zafar said. When approached, Medico-Legal Surgeon, Captain (Retd) Dr Waseem Haider, confirmed that several medical reports were pending in the Office of Clinical Examiner. According to him, despite that he had taken strict action against corruption mafia and expedited the reports compilation process, the factor of reports pendency could not be resolved unless the government provided incentives in forensic medicine field. Dr Waseem said that the medical officers involved in report compiling were not working under his command so he was not authorised to proceed against them for their malpractices because these medical officers were subordinated to the medical superintendents (MS) and executive district officers (EDOs) for health. Based on my years of experience, I can safely say that this problem cannot be solved unless a separate cadre is created for forensic medicine and the government provides incentives to this field. I have trained so many young doctors in forensic medicine but after every few months they switch to surgery, medicine or other fields. Doctors working in forensic medicine find it hard to earn sufficient bread and butter for their families, he said. Dr Waseem suggested that a separate faculty for forensic medicine be established and doctors be properly paid if corruption and inefficiency is to be eliminated. In the past, the pednancy and ratio of altering the reports was reportedly far greater due to the involvement of corrupt officials in the Office of Clinical Examiner especially in Lahore and their collusion with tout mafia.