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PoGB residents raise concerns over poor medical facilities

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The local patients in Gilgit city of Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan (PoGB) on Thursday raised concerns over the poor medical facilities in the area, a local news outlet reported.

The locals complained that the Provincial Headquarters Hospital (PHQ) Gilgit is the only option when they face any medical emergencies.

One of the locals lamented the condition of the hospital and said no doctor was available when they had gone for treatment.

“I, am a patient of Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) diseases, and when we came here for treatment we were told that the doctor we were supposed to consult was not available for over three months,” the report quoted him as saying.

“When we asked the senior officials about when the doctor would be available again they had no response. We also enquired that there is a doctor that has been appointed to this hospital three days ago but that doctor is also not available,” he added.

Locals further highlighted that people of all ages, including men, women, elderly and children depend on this hospital for treatment, and they have to suffer every time we visit.

“There are no doctors here and the people continue to suffer because of the bad medical facilities and unavailable doctors,” the local resident added.

Notably, several places in PoGB face similar infrastructural problems due to the sheer ignorance of the administration.

The residents of the Gahkuch Khari area in PoGB questioned the efficacy of the cleanliness drive organised this week and complained that the administration’s claim of development in the region was ‘hollow’.

Locals in parts of the Gahkuch Khari area are also irked by the inability of the government to handle the increasing trash and sewage issues in the region.

Bakhtawar Shah, a resident said that the PoGB administration is running a campaign named ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ but it is only for ‘show’ and the real conditions continue to be poor.

“A campaign called the ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ by the PoGB administration is being run but merely for show. Just walk about a hundred meters from the offices of Deputy Commissioner Ghazar and Assistant Commissioner Punyal Ashkoman, and they will know the real conditions that our people live in. The sewage pipes have been jammed because of garbage and the area smells bad,” he said.

Muhammad Khan, another resident of the area said that the children here are prone to diseases because of poor garbage management.

“There are no sweepers appointed by the administration for cleaning streets. Our children who play in these streets are prone to diseases because of this garbage. They may make claims about clean and green Pakistan, but up till now I have not seen any improvement,” he said.

Notably, the lack of proper roads, health, and other basic facilities has made the occupied region one of the most backward. Residents blame corruption and neglect for leaving Gilgit Baltistan’s future bleak.

The report cited other residents who said that despite the protests, written applications, and organized meetings regarding the issue, no solution has been found till now.

“Previously, the local District Collector had given us an assurance for starting the repair work within three days but more than ten days have passed and there is no sign of work getting started in this regard. Now we are ready to compromise and demand that an excavator be brought to make a path for the water to exit, but they are not able to arrange for that also,” another resident said.