ISLAMABAD - Ministry of National Health Services for face saving posted newly-recruited medical officers of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences at 12 basic health units and a dispensary to fill the vacant posts, The Nation learnt on Tuesday.

As per the notification issued by the ministry of NHS, 12 medical officers and post graduate trainees of PIMS and one of Federal General Hospital (FGH) have been posted in 12 BHUs and one dispensary.

Officials said that PIMS was already facing shortage of doctors and recently 285 MOs had been recruited to meet that shortage, however; the ministry transferred 13 of them to primary healthcare setups in a sudden move.

Primary healthcare setup catering the rural population of the city is comprised of 3 rural health centres (RHCs), 15 basic health units (BHUs) and a dispensary.

Officials said that the primary healthcare setup of the city was also working at half of its strength as it is facing shortage of 18 posts of MOs and 36 positions of other staff.

There are 32 sanctioned posts of MOs in RHUs and BHUs of the city.

Official said that the postings were made a day before the matter was to be discussed in the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on NHS.

A local Member National Assembly from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Ali Nawaz Awan had raised the issue on the floor of the house regarding non-functioning of BHUs and dispensaries in rural areas of the city. 

As per the reply submitted by ministry of NHS in the NA committee on NHS, a requisition for filling up 18 clear vacant posts of medical officers/women medical officers on regular basis has been sent to Federal Public Service Commission and 36 posts of different categories has been advertised and recruitment process is in process through recruitment agency.

Officials also said that ministry is going launch a reformed program of strengthening the primary healthcare system in next month and filling the vacant posts by transferring officials from city’s public sector hospitals which are already facing shortage of doctors. “Instead of filling vacant posts properly through procedure, the ministry is making stop gap arrangements to make its program successful,” said the official.

MNA Ali Nawaz Awan remarked in NA committee for NHS that the primary healthcare setup of the city lacks doctors and medicines.

He said that though ministry has made a plan to revamp and strengthen the primary healthcare system of the city, but time frame must be given in this regard.

He also said that local medical professionals must be given attractive packages to work in rural areas so they prefer staying and performing their duties there.

Responding on the issues Director General (NHS) ministry of NHS Dr. Asad Hafeez said that primary healthcare system comprising RHCs and BHUs are going to be fully functional from 09th September this year.

He said that some doctors have been posted from PIMS until the regular appointment process is completed and till that the medical officials will be rotating to run the system.

He also said that ministry has prepared a list of 57 diseases which will be cured at BHUs of the city while shortage of medicines will be covered and new medical equipment will be also purchased.