BOONI: As the strike by owners of medical stores entered third day, patients continued suffering across Chitral with the medical centres and hospitals facing shortage of medicines.
However, when contacted on phone, District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Israr Ullah told ChitralToday that all government hospitals and health centres had sufficient stock and the situation was totally under control. He said the incumbent KP government had not only provided sufficient medicines to hospitals but also added more drugs to the inventories.
In reply to a question, the DHO said the hospitals had enough stock for six months to meet any emergency situation. He said he had requested the representatives of the protesters before the start of the strike to keep open one medical store near each hospital to facilitate the patients but it was not accepted.
In a statement issued from Booni, Muhammad Pervez Lal, the chairman of the Nazimeen Forum of Upper Chitral, said health centres in the remote area were facing shortage of medicines and in case of loss of any life the KP government would directly be held responsible.
The druggists and chemists in the whole Malakand Division have gone on a shutter-down strike against changes to the Drug Act of 1976. Political and social circles have called upon the provincial government to realize the gravity of the situation and immediately hold talks with the protesters and accept their genuine demands.
The DHO said he had directed government hospitals across the valley to approach his office in case they needed any essential drug. However, he added, so far no request or report of any shortage had been reported.
The chemists and drug dealers have opposed the government decision of abolishing the category-C licences of pharmacies. They are of the view that through the amendments the government would render over 100,000 people jobless in the province.