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June 29, 2018

Post-Fata merger: KP Health officials meet on July 2 to ponder integration of deptts


June 29, 2018

PESHAWAR: To initiate the integration process and devise a better strategy with more focus on enhanced accountability and check and balance in all affairs related to the erstwhile Fata Health Directorate, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Secretary Health has convened the first meeting of the officials concerned associated with erstwhile Fata Health Directorate in different capacities on July 2.

The provincial Health Department has stopped making intra-inter-district transfer and posting, negotiations or agreement or signing memorandum of understanding with any partner, provincial or federal NGOs till the approval of the competent authority.

The purpose of the meeting, according to government officials, is to take the authorities concerned into confidence about integration and convey to them a soft message that gone are the days when the Fata Health Directorate and its affairs were beyond the ambit of Health Department.

After merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the biggest challenges ahead are stated to be integration of the different government departments being administered by the political agents or blue-eyed people until now.

Also, there were reports that some people in the defunct Fata Health Directorate, after sensing that their days are numbered, started frequent recruitment and misuse of funds on futile exercises.

Senior government officials on condition of anonymity told The News that some people in the ex-Fata Health Directorate showed strong resistance when the provincial Health Department a few weeks ago made an attempt to carefully initiate the integration process.

“There are so many interesting stories in the defunct Fata Health Directorate and I am sure if the concerned accountability bodies honestly and thoroughly investigated, they would unearth mega corruption scams there,” said a government official.

Besides ghost health centres and ghost employees, the official said, the accountability bodies would easily learn “how and where a huge chunk of funds meant for providing healthcare to the tribespeople were.”

He said a few years ago the additional chief secretary Fata had ordered an inquiry in one tribal region, Mohmand Agency, and found the then agency surgeon guilty of faking documents to run the health facilities in rented buildings.

Like other government departments in the erstwhile Fata, the Fata Health Directorate and people working there had been made accountable for the funds they spent and different programmes initiated with donors’ funds.

The KP Secretary Health has written a letter to the director general of the defunct Fata Health Directorate and agency surgeons of all the seven tribal districts with the direction to participate in the meeting on Monday.

The letter, a copy of which is available with The News, says that all the officers concerned are directed to bring along year-wise budget allocation during the last five years along with the list of healthcare facilities in the newly named districts of Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan and the list of existing district/ directorate wise staff.

The secretary health also directed them to bring along district and directorate wise SNE (detail of recruitment), details of FSV, details of vehicles in the directorate and districts, details of purchases/procurement, IT equipment/office equipment, machines, ambulances, medicines and others to the meeting in Peshawar.

Dr Jawad Habib served as the last director general of Fata Health Directorate. He is the nephew of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra.

One of the first things the governor is stated to have done after assuming the office was to appoint his nephew as director general Health Fata.

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