Healthcare services in outsourced hospitals across tribal districts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) have reached a breaking point, with several facilities suspending their operations due to a distressing four-month delay in staff salary payments.
The Type-D hospital in Mohmand district is the latest addition to the list, with its entire medical staff refusing to work until their overdue salaries are settled.
A total of 19 hospitals in various tribal districts are operating under the public-private partnership model by the health department, and nearly all of them are facing financial issues resulting from withheld funds by the caretaker government.
An NGO’s report submitted to the health department highlighted the strike at the Type-D hospital in Mammadgat, where staff announced an indefinite boycott of their duties, except for emergency services, in protest of four months of unpaid salaries and arrears dating back to July 1.
If the funds are not released promptly, there is a looming threat of a complete shutdown of hospital operations.
Although verbal assurances were given during meetings with the K-P Health Foundation and other stakeholders regarding the immediate release of outstanding dues, the promised funds have not materialized.
The delay in disbursing funds is severely impeding the service delivery of outsourced hospitals, a situation that the K-P health department is already aware of.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th2023.
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