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Bajaur in dire need of lady doctors

BAJAUR: Most of the lady doctors posts in hospitals across conservative Bajaur tribal district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) have been lying vacant due to the non-availability of doctors, forcing people to go to Peshawar for treatment.

The district has a population of around 1,093,000 individuals as per the census but only at District Headquarters Hospital, Khar, the largest hospital in the district, nine posts of lady doctors are vacant since long.

Information obtained by The Express Tribune using Right to Information Act shows that all the nine posts are of women medical officers.

When contacted Medical Superintendent (MS) of the hospital Dr Wazir Safi said that it is true that nine posts of lady doctors are vacant because no one is interested in joining.

“Recently we recruited five lady doctors on contract basis for a period of three years,” he said.

Same is the case at Tehsil Headquarters Hospital (Type D) which comes directly under the District Health Officer (DHO) where five posts of female doctors are vacant. Similarly, the post of a gynecologist in Bajaur is vacant since long.

Situation is not different in Pusht Hospital and Mamond Lar Khalozo Hospital where the posts of female gynecologists and medical officers are yet to be filled. By the same token in Tehsil Hospital, Nawagai, female gynecologist and medical officer is not available.

Luckily, only recently women medical officers have been posted at RHC Hospital Arang and Type D hospital Pushat.

DHO Bajaur, Dr Faisal Kamal claimed that due to the non-availability of basic facilities lady doctors are not interested in coming to hospitals in Bajaur but they were trying their level best to change the situation after the merger.

“There is no accommodation, electricity, gas and other facilities in large cities. Those female doctors who have been recruited under AIP Scheme are not happy here but under their recruitment policy they cannot be posted elsewhere so they work here willingly or unwillingly,” he said.

A local elder of Bajaur Shafiullah told The Express Tribune that under the tribal culture and traditions male doctors cannot treat women patients but only male doctors are available in the district hospitals.

“Due to the lack of female doctors women don’t come to hospitals for treatment. If they have resources they go to other districts but most of the people in the district are poor and hand to mouth for them traveling to Peshawar is a unaffordable luxury,” he said.

A lady doctor on the condition of anonymity shared that their salaries are attractive but at the same time there is no official residence for them, power outage for hours is a routine and their job is not permanent either.

“Good salary is the only attraction in this job otherwise Bajaur is a really backward district where no one wants to be posted for job,” she said.

Source: Express Tribune