Senior doctors in three MTI hospitals of provincial metropolis of Peshawar have adopted a hostile behavior towards patients. They come to the outpatient departments (OPD) for the checkup of people just for two hours between 1000 hours to 1200 hours. The patients line up in long queues three hours before the working hours of the hospitals in front of OPD counters but majority of them don get the required prescription slip as counter are closed at 1200 hours. Likewise, the patients are being deprived of facilities of X-ray and essential clinical tests in hospitals after 1300 hours.
MTI Act was enforced in seven teaching hospitals to put in place an efficient and people friendly management in these hospitals, impose punctuality and discipline on senior doctors to ensure their availability in OPDs and wards during the hours of morning shift. For this purpose lucrative pay structure and other incentives were approved for both senior and junior doctors. The senior doctors do avail the enhanced monetary benefits but in return they are least interested in improving the service delivery by honestly performing their duty.
In the evening shift, the specialist doctors charge abnormally higher fee than the market rate in the Institution Based Practice, compelling the people to go to either private clinics of doctors or seek treatment in private hospitals. On the contrary, in a non-MTI government hospital in Peshawar city the OPD counters remain open from 0800 hours to 1400 hours and the specialist doctors examine patients in friendly manner. The Board of Governors and senior doctors of MTI hospitals are no longer under the control of health department. Will there be any accountability mechanism to check the doctors’ cartel in MTI hospitals?