Thursday, February 23, 2017

Charsadda DHQ ‘refuses’ to provide required information to RTI Commission

Daily Times‎‎‎‎‎: Peshawar: Thursday, February 23, 2017.
District Headquarter (DHQ) hospitals are backbone of health services at district level and first access to a large number of people in need of health services.
Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) after assuming the power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), declared emergency on health and education after general elections of 2013 elections.
A huge Development budget of Rs 50.7 billion has been allocated to health sector from 2013 to 2017. The year wise spread remain as Rs 9.9 billion in FY 2013-14, Rs 11.1 billion in FY 2014-15, Rs 12.3 billion in FY 15-16 and Rs 17.4 billion in FY 2016-17. Unfortunately the provision of available facilities does not justify the budget allocations.
Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) initiated a social audit process in District Charsadda under which citizens were enabled to perform the social audit of DHQ Hospital Charsadda's Minimum Services Delivery Status vs Available Services Delivery Status.
A social audit committee (SAC) was formed to gather the required information for which Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2013 was used. SAC filed different information requests but the DHQ responses on the RTIs were dismal.
However, the little information that was received from RTI requests reveals the true picture of the DHQ. District Head Quarters Hospital Charsadda was made functional in 1990.
It is a large infrastructure consisting of Emergency, different Wards, Administration, staff hostel, staff flats and OPD. Sanctioned posts (from BPS 20 to BPS 01) in DHQ are 278. Total 120 positions 0f Doctors and Specialist are sanctioned, out of which only 40 are filled and 80 are Vacant.
This indicates that only 33 per cent sanctioned positions are filled while 67 per cent are vacant. A total of 559,073 patients visited the DHQ Charsadda from July 2015 to June 2016 as per certified information provided by DHQ. Similarly, total OPD from July 2015 to June 2016 was also 559,073.
One can assume that this information is frivolous showing daily attendance of 1532 patients over a spread of 365 days and no patient was treated in emergency. Anesthesia specialist position is vacant and one can wonder how and by whom major operations have been treated.
The RTI requests pertaining to information about employees' leave record, staff duty roaster, ward wise available beds, medicine distribution record, log books of the vehicles, expenditure record, equipment's list were not entertained etc. When the information was not provided by the DHQ, a number of RTI complaints were sent to RTI commission. But yet another dismal performance came out. It has been more than 60 days now that KP RTI commission has been unable to direct DHQ Charsadda to provide the requested information.
The RTI complaints can be tracked in the KP RTI complaint status with reference numbers 2825, 2826, 2827, 2836 and 2837.
Muhammed Anwar, Executive Director CGPA, stated that the provisions available at DHQ Hospital have always been inadequate and insufficient to provide emergency treatment to citizens.
He also stated that under the current security threats, provincial government must declare emergency in health sector.