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November 15, 2019

SHC tells health dept to submit details on vacant posts of gynecologists

Karachi

November 15, 2019

The Sindh High Court on Thursday the health department to submit data with regard to vacant posts of gynecologists in the province and steps being taken by the government for sending recommendations to the public service commission for appointments of doctors on these posts.

The direction came on an application seeking the implementation of a court order with regard to prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula, a severe pregnancy-related injury that afflicts hundreds of women in the province every year.

Applicant Sheema Kermani submitted in the application that the SHC had directed the health department to take all remedial measures in order to prevent the widespread incidence of obstetric fistula and appoint gynaecologists and specialist doctors in various government-run hospitals against the vacant posts.

She submitted that despite the court orders, no specialised doctors and gynaecologists were appointed at government-run hospitals of the province. She requested the SHC to direct the health department to implement the court directives in letter and spirit.

The applicant’s counsel submitted that various posts of gynecologists were vacant at government-run hospitals of the province. A health department official however submitted that the gynecologists were performing duties at government hospitals.

A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar directed an official of the health department to file comments with statistics with regard to the vacant posts of gynecologists as well as on steps being taken by the government for appointments of doctors through the Sindh Public Service Commission. The court adjourned the hearing till December 5.

The health department had earlier informed the court that the Maternal and Newborn Child Health (MNCH) Programme of the department was allocated a sum of Rs11.76 million in PC-I which had been approved. According to the programme, 50 per cent of the allocated amount had been released and from the said amount vesico-vaginal fistula VVF treatment (medical/surgical) centres were to be established at Liaquat University Hospital (LUH), Hyderabad/Jamshoro, Peoples Medical College Hospital, Nawabshah, Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College Hospital, Sukkur and Chandka Medical College, Larkana. The JPMC, Karachi, was already dealing with cases of VVF at its centres, the court was informed.

Regarding appointments of gynaecologists and specialist doctors in various government-run hospitals against the vacant posts, the health department officials had informed the SHC that the Sindh Public Service Commission had started interviews for the appointments of specialist doctors, including gynaecologists, and immediately after the selection of new doctors and gynaecologists, the health department would depute a reasonable strength of them at different hospitals so that VVF cases may be dealt with properly within a reasonable time. The SHC disposed of the petition with directions to the health department to take all remedial measures as decided in their minutes of a meeting and directed by the court within a period of three months and submit a compliance report through the advocate general.

It observed that in case the petitioners found out any deficiency, non-interest or non-implementation of directions of the court, an application could be moved in for the resurrection of the petition disposed of. The petitioners, including Dr Shershah Syed, had said around 5,000 women die during pregnancy in Sindh every year because of a lack of healthcare facilities in rural areas.

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