Ghor NGO hires docs, medics on fake documents
But the NGO, the Afghanistan Centre for Training and Development (ACTD), insists that the appointments have been made in consultation with the Ghor Department of Public Health.
Public health authorities allege ACTD has been unable to start delivering the medical services it has promised, particularly in the remote areas of Ghor.
Deputy Director of Public health Dr. Abdul Ali Rassouli told Pajhwok who doctors and nurses appointed to clinics in a number of districts either had no documents or provided fake testimonials.
Without informing the Department of Public, ACTD had appointed doctors and medics to rural health facilities, the official alleged. Under the rules, he explained, all appointees have to be referred to the department.
“We have no specific figures for such doctors because our investigation is yet to be completed. But initial findings show a number of such individuals have been hired in Tolak, Shahrak, Thiora, Pasaband and Lal-wa-Sarjangal districts,” he said.
Patients’ treatment by non-professionals could further aggravate their condition instead of bringing them relief, Rassouli argued. “Such treatment would seriously damage the patient. The quality of healthcare services they receive is suspect.”
Some patients also complained about the situation. A resident of Pasaband district, Gul Ahmad, said: “I took a pregnant woman to a local clinic. The doctor on duty gave her some tablets that didn’t work.”
Subsequently, he took the patient to the main provincial civil hospital, where doctors told said the tablets were very dangerous. Ahmad, 40, said people in his area were faced with serious health problems as there were no medics there even to stitch a wound.
The district lies at a distance of 170 kilometers from Ferozkoh and few residents could afford to take their patients to the main provincial hospital.
Rassouli confirmed the problems, saying some districts lacked even primary healthcare services. A shortage of professional medics is another problem in the health area. “We have shared the issues several times with the Ministry of Public Health, but it has not yet taken any remedial measures.”
On the other hand, ACTD Director Dr. Ehsanullah Shinwari repudiated the allegation of appointments on fake documents. The NGO was providing all facilities in the districts in accordance with the contract it had signed with the ministry, he maintained.
All appointees were introduced to the ministry before being deployed to their duty stations, he said, adding: “If we find someone with fake documents, we ourselves don’t let them work as a health professionals.”
ACTD is an Afghan organisation that started working in 2011. It has been providing healthcare services in Ghor after signing a three-year contract with the Ministry of Public Health.
A resident of the provincial capital, Khair Mohammad, complained of a perennial shortage of medicine at the hospital. “After our patients are examined, we are forced to buy medicines in the market.”
Mohammad said the locals, despite economic woes, had to evacuate the sick to Herat province or Pakistan. He lamented Ghor had no asphalted roads and it took a long time shifting patients to other places for treatment.
The deputy director of public health acknowledged the issues and said that the hospital in Ghor lacked certain health facilities. And people have to transfer their patients to Pakistan.
But the official said all types of medicines were available at government-run hospitals in the province. “I don’t know why people buy medicines from private medical stores.”
The Ghor hospital has 100 beds with emergency, delivery, children and operation departments. Around 300 people visit the hospital on a daily basis.
The official said the construction of a new hospital was under way for the last two years with the assistance of Japan. By the end of this year, the construction work would be completed, he concluded.
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