MLOs shortage adversely affects hospitals functioning

Karachi: The shortage of Medico-Legal Officers (MLOs) has further deepened in the city as around 26 posts are lying vacant in different government hospitals of Karachi since last few years, affecting medico-legal department functioning at healthcares.

A senior MLO on condition of anonymity said non-serious attitude of health department and health minister of Sindh towards the issue has further deepened the crises in hospitals. He said these seats are lying vacant since last several years.

He said health department had failed to appoint a permanent Police Surgeon Karachi. Additional MLO Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Dr Jalil Qadir is working as Acting Police Surgeon Karachi on this post.

He informed that medico-legal department was established in five government hospitals including Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC), Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), Sindh Government Hospital Korangi and Sindh Government Hospital Qatar Orangi Town to handle the terrorism-related emergency and other cases.

He said MLO’s report containing the cause of death, time of death, nature of death, and other details compiled in an official form at the time of autopsy provides the basis for a court’s case, carrying an impact on the final decision.

General Secretary Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Karachi Dr Qazi Wasiq said no any doctor was ready to accept MLO post over security reason in the city. He said situation could not improve till the provision of proper security to MLOs in city. He said MLOs are part of judicial system and health departments should fulfill these seats on earliest.

He said health secretary assured the establishment of medical-legal directorate in Sindh in recent meeting held at PMA House. He suggested the government to announce more incentives and provide protection to MLOs in order to improve situation.

Police Surgeon Karachi Dr Jalil Qadir was not available on phone for comments.

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