RAWALPINDI, Aug 8: In what appears to be distrust in existing patient complaint system, Punjab government is introducing a system to reach out to the visitors of Rural Health Centres (RHC) and Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospitals in the province to know their grievances and ensure early redressal.
After Eidul Fitr, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will make a phone call to those who visited the emergency departments or admitted at RHC and THQ Hospitals in Rawalpindi Division to check whether they are getting free medicines, better facilities, friendly doctors or not.
Obviously, the patients and attendants will hear the chief minister’s recorded voice message as it will not be possible for him to make a phone call to each and every patient in rural health centres and THQ hospitals.
Health officials told Dawn that the provincial government established Chief Minister Complaint Cell (CMCC) in Lahore and it would connect with all the districts.
They said that the RHC and THQ hospital administration had been asked to register the patients name, address, phone number and his/her attendents’ address and cell phone number and transfer the record on a daily basis to Lahore at CMCC.
They said that the provincial government would take immediate action against doctors against whom 30 patients complaint.
They said that through this system, the government would be able to check the availability of free of cost medicines and better health facilities at these health centres.
They said that the government would also check the working of doctors, para medical staff and administration while sitting in Lahore.
When contacted, Director Health Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal said that the government has directed to make arrangements for the new system.
He said that the computers with internet facility had been provided at RHC and THQ hospitals reception, to register the patients and then send the data to Lahore.
He said that all the RHC and THQ Hospitals were informed and they started making arrangements for the new system.
He said that all the arrangements would be complete by the end of Ramazan to start the system from Eidul Fitr.
On the other hand, the local political leaders termed it a political stunt and election campaign to reach out to the people in rural areas of the province.
They said that the provincial government turned a blind-eye on the problems of patients in the hospitals and health centres during the last four years.
“Punjab Chief Minister should introduce the system in the allied hospitals also as mostly people suffer at these hospitals,” said Jamaat-i-Islami spokesman Malik Azam, while talking to Dawn.
He said that federal and provincial governments led by PPP and PML-N respectively had failed to launch people welfare works, during last four years and they started some works in the end of their tenure to run election campaigns.
“Punjab government failed to deliver due to wrong policies of Shahbaz Sharif and now he is using tactics to reach out to the poor, living in rural areas for elections,” said PPP Rawalpindi spokesman Shujaat Haider Naqvi, while talking to Dawn.