By Rafique Chakar
People of Punjgur have been suffering due to lack of public health facilities as they have to travel far for minor medical problems.
In 2010, a Rural Health Centre was announced for the main town Katagari in Gowargo, Punjgur. After the funds were approved, the construction work began on the building but soon stopped due to political reasons, freezing the funds.
Now seven years on the hospital building still remains incomplete. The people either travel to distant cities for treatment or suffer at the hands of quacks.
An educated youth of the area, Ghulam Baloch told Pak Voices, “Katagari is the centre of Tehsil Gowargo. People from the distant villages come here for treatment when they get sick. But when they can’t find any reasonable health facilities they go back disappointed.”
He continued, “When the hospital was approved and announced, the public of the area felt relieved and happy. But this extraordinary delay has disappointed the people. They have sent letters for the solution of the problem many times but to no avail.”
Sardar Rafeeq Ahmed, a tribal leader of the area while talking to Pak Voice said, “The ex-MPA Ghulam Jan Baloch made an effort for having a standard hospital in the area. But his difference with the then ruling party led to the closure of hospital funds.”
“The BNP party secretary general and the health minister at that time froze funds allocated for the construction work. As a result, the work on site stopped in the middle and has not been resumed as of yet.”
He added, “The people are facing difficulties as the construction work was halted, causing inconvenience to the local patients as they have to travel far for minor issues.”
Pak Voices contacted District Health Officer Dr. Imdad Baloch who said, “When the construction is completed we would appoint staff and it would be made operational. But if the building is incomplete we cannot go ahead. We contacted the high ups several times to get the funds released but without success.”
We also reached out to the provincial health minister Mir Rahmat Saleh Baloch about the issue who said, “This project was delayed due to the (alleged) corruption and nepotism of the previous government. We are working to resume the construction work and want to make it functional at the earliest.”
He assured, “We will complete the construction work in a few months’ time to facilitate the public of the area.”
Rafique Chakar is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Punjgur, Balochistan.