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Three health bills adopted Lawmakers term health situation in Sindh alarming.

Byline: Naimat Khan

KARACHI -- Lawmakers in Sindh Assembly Monday showed extreme concern over the basic health facilities in the Sindh province, which, they said, was reflected by the frequent deaths of children and newborns in Thar area due to cases of malnutrition and spread of deadly contagious diseases.

Amid this alarms bells being run by lawmakers, especially Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the house adopted three bills into law related to health sectors i.e. the Sindh Epidemic Diseases Bill2014, Sindh Eye Surgery (Restriction) Bill2014, and the Sindh Tuberculosis Notification Bill2014.

MQMa[euro](tm)s Dr Sagheer Ahmed of Muttahida Quami Movement, who had been provincial health minister till recently parted ways with Pakistan Peoplea[euro](tm)s Party in Sindh government, said the entire primary health sector in rural parts of the province had been unduly handed over to a nongovernmental organization with name of Peoplea[euro](tm)s Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI) with least of accountability and transparency on the budget annually doled out to the NGO.

According to record of PPHI, 1954 dispensaries were functioning in the province but at the same time the NGO responsible for primary health sector of Sindh should be made accountable as to why 110 dispensaries were nonfunctional in Thar areaa[euro] he said.

The former health minister was of the view that the situation had become alarming due to the fact that most of the causalities in Thar had not occurred in houses but had taken place in hospitals as proper inquiry should be done as to why proper treatment facilities were not being given at these public sectora[euro](tm)s health centers.

He said the healthcare setups like PPHI were being unduly retained in Sindh without evaluating their efficiency and performance while Punjab had already done with such useless health sectora[euro](tm)s mechanisms.

Pakistan Muslim LeagueFunctional Lawmaker, Nusrat Sehar Abbasi said that state of affairs in provincial health sector had been far from satisfactory in the province with reports indicating that around 490 doctors appointed for governmentrun hospitals were absent from their official duties since long and the government had issued showcause notices to them for their undue absence.

Minority MPA of PPP Dr Mahesh Kumar Malani said that no doubt deaths of children in Thar had been alarming instances but it was unfair to attribute all such causalities to situation of famine in Thar area as various health and socioeconomic factors had caused these causalities among minors.

Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said the government was very much concerned about frequent causalities of children and persisting drought situation in Thar but it was undue for the media to only focus on health situation in Sindh in the situation that there were on average deaths of 200,000 annually and 600 causalities daily of newborn children of less than one year of age in Pakistan.

He said the media should also make focus on general causes and factors behind such high rate of causalities of newly born children in the entire country instead of unduly emphasizing on the situation in Thar.

Sindh Food Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, who has been given additional portfolio of provincial health department after MQM quit the provincial coalition setup, said that showcause notices were being issued to all doctors associated government health sector that had been either unduly absent from their duties or had been exPakistan leave since long. He said that services of such absentee doctors associated with government hospitals and health centres would be terminated in case they further persisted with their unauthorized and prolonged absence from official duties.
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Publication:Frontier Post (Peshawar, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Nov 11, 2014
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