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Student leader says AKHS looting poor people of Garam Chashma

CHITRAL, Aug 28: The vice-chairman of Ismaili Students Association lower Chitral and former president of Chitral Students Social Welfare Association based at Karachi, Sher Jahan Khan, here alleged that the Aga Khan Health Service (AKHS) was looting the poor people of Garam Chashma in the name of healthcare facilities. Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, he alleged the organization was also blackmailing the Ismaili community instead of providing them with medical facilities as envisioned by the Aga Khan Foundation. akhsFlanked by other activists of the association, he said AKHS had done nothing for the relief of the poor people of the far-flung areas except receiving fees from them at exorbitant rate. “In the government run hospitals, the cost of OPD chit is only five rupees but it is as high as 300 rupees in the AKHS healthcare centres. All other facilities are charged in the same high proportion,” he said. “AKHS has virtually become a commercial organization whose all activities are meant to gather more and more amount of money,” he said. He that the organization had taken over the management of tehsil headquarters hospital Garam Chashma on a public private partnership basis but it miserably failed to deliver the required services as given in the memorandum of understanding (MoU). Mr. Khan said that the poor people of Garam Chashma and its surrounding villages had become weary of the new management of the hospital as they have to pay 300 times higher fee than before when it was run by the government. “I know a person who paid a high sum of 800 rupees in the hospital for extraction of his ailing tooth while in the past he had paid only ten rupees for a similar treatment,” he said. Mr. Khan further alleged that last year a consultant psychologist of the organization was shot dead in a clinic in Chitral inside the regional offices but the matter was hushed up because it happened due to the inefficiency of its top managers. He said that his association will approach the local court for registration of FIR against the top management of AKHS, including its general manager, as they were directly responsible for the incident. Giving a deadline of 15 days to the government, he demanded the provincial government annul the MoU singed with AKHS and register an FIR against the managers of the organization.–Zahiruddin]]>

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