During the tenures of Naimatullah Khan and Mustafa Kamal, the former city district governments had set up dispensaries in various towns of the metropolis at a cost of millions of rupees to provide relief to the poor. But, their closing down speaks volumes about the negligence of the KMC. It has been learnt that high-ups of the KMC are showing indifference towards the dilapidated condition of these health facilities. An official of the KMC, on the condition of anonymity, told TheNation that the former city district governments had left nothing on the account and that the KMC had no surplus budget to manage these dispensaries.
On the other hand, an official of a dispensary located in North Karachi, claimed that the KMC was not deprived of funds but it lacked the will. A senior doctor, working for a public hospital, said that health issues were not in the priorities of the KMC administration, while the recent protests by doctors and paramedical staff working with various health centres exposed the tall claims of Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed about the performance of his department.
When contacted, KMC Medical and Health Director Dr Nasir said the government was yet to release sufficient budget to the KMC. He said 61 dispensaries stood non-functional as the budget available with the KMC was not sufficient to run the dispensaries.
Meanwhile, the poor are suffering the most because of the KMC’s and government’s apathy. Even, the dispensaries in Landhi Town, New Karachi, Surjani Town, Orangi Town and other areas have not been functioning. It has been learnt that the dispensary in Future Colony has officially appointed two doctors, but they rarely visit. The dispensary is located in a congested part of the city, where fully-equipped government hospitals are badly needed. Constructed in 2009, another dispensary in Surjani Town could be made operational and its windows and doors were reportedly stolen.