Balochistan’s Healthcare Crisis

0

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Balochistan’s Healthcare Crisis

Editorial :

In its 50-year history as a province, successive governments in Balochistan have failed to provide health facilities to the masses. It is woeful that the discussions around health policy receive little to no space on the agenda of political parties. The media continues to report the plight of government-run hospitals, polio, nutrition, and other issues. However, a meaningful debate in the media about the abysmal state of health services is virtually absent.

The result of this apathy is declining health indicators. For instance, maternal mortality rate, child mortality rate are the highest in Balochistan as compared to other parts of the country. Balochistan is the highest contributor, with an average of 785 out of 100,000 mothers dying in childbirth or related complications, while an average of 272 mothers dying in other provinces of Pakistan. Out of every 1,000 children under the age of five, 111 die in Balochistan, while other provinces have an average of 49 deaths. The data is as per the Pakistan Health Demographic Survey (PHDS) 2014.

In the aftermath of the global outbreak of COVID19, the Balochistan government also increased the health budget and allocated Rs. 32 billion to improve health indicators. Most recently, Jam Kamal Khan led Balochistan government has announced to recruit doctors on a contract basis to overcome the shortage of health professionals. Over 3,000 vacancies of male, female doctors from medical officers to specialist cadres are lying vacant for years in Balochistan. The Balochistan Public Service Commission (BPSC) has already launched a process of tests and interviews for the recruitment of over 1,000 doctors.

The process of recruitment takes over one year as per the BPSC procedures. And the government needs doctors on an emergency basis in hospitals to battle the second-wave of the novel coronavirus. The Young Doctors Association (YDA) Balochistan has rejected the government’s decision and coronavirus. They demanded appointments through BPSC. YDA has directed its members not to submit applications for appointments on a contract basis.

This has created a new crisis. However, the solution is simple. The government needs to take all health professional bodies on board while making this decision functional. The doctors who have already applied through BPSC should be issued contract orders so that they could serve the ailing humanity and get paid until permanent orders. This will allow the government to implement its policies in the health department without strikes and agitation by doctors. The doctors too have to avoid agitation and strikes and avoid punishing patients.

Beyond politics, the government, political parties, intelligentsia, health professionals, educationists must make health and education true priorities. Only then, this process can progress and living conditions can improve.

Balochistan’s Healthcare Crisis

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

You might also like