ISLAMABAD-A number of villages’ residents adjacent to Shahdara complained that they were struggling to access healthcare facilities due to closure of the only medical dispensary, accommodating thousands of locals in the remote hilly areas of the federal capital.

Chairman Union Council Mulpur Mushtaq Ahmed said that as many as 15,000 residents living in various villages including Mandla, Shahdra, Rumni, Sabin Sayeda Buddu, Nirbas, Pharilah, Mangyal, falling under his UC’s jurisdiction, were deprived of basic health facilities.

“Four months ago, electricity of the dispensary was disconnected due to non-payment of the bills and after that the situation worsened which eventually led to the closure of the only available health unit in the area”, he said.

He said that being a public representative he had approached to the departments concerned and lodged several complaints but not a single relevant department assured to resolve and take up the issue.

Highlighting his UC’s people pleas, he said that a poor man had to travel to Bhara Kahu for minor health issues and he had to pay around Rs500 to get relief while consulting a private healthcare facility.

District Health Officer Dr Najeeb, in response to public complaints, said that a PC-I of Rs957 million had been prepared for revamping and revitalising all healthcare facilities of federal capital on the instruction of Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination.

The PC-I has been submitted to the Planning Commission and the amount is likely to be released in July and after that, reservations of rural population regarding missing health facilities would be addressed, he added. He said that the government was also planning to install tele-medicine equipment in Shahdra, Sohan and Tilhar villages connected with Poly Clinic hospital and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences where a medical specialist would provide the treatment to the people using online mechanism.

To a query, he said that there were only one dispenser and midwife appointed in Shahdara dispensary. “We are paying the utility bills on regular basis,” he negated the statement of the UC Chairman.