Upgraded DHQ Hospital Landi Kotal still referring patients to Peshawar

Khyber   -  Despite being upgraded to Category-A, Landi Kotal’s District Headquarters (DHQ) hospital continues to refer patients to hospitals in Peshawar. Residents are disappointed, as the hospital was meant to serve the people of Khyber tribal district and the local border region. However, even minor cases are redirected to Peshawar, casting doubts on the hospital’s efficiency.

Aman Ali Shinwari shared his experience when his aunt suffered minor injuries and was transferred to the DHQ hospital. She received only a painkiller injection before being advised to go to Peshawar for further treatment. Aman Ali questioned the hospital’s Category-A status, given the presence of specialist doctors and staff.

The Medical Superintendent (MS) claimed improvements, but many saw these as empty slogans. DHQ hospital records show 79,258 patients with various health complications visiting the emergency department from July 2022 to June 2023.

Maqsood Alam from Rescue 1122 Khyber revealed that in 2022, 1,758 cases were referred from DHQ Hospital Landi Kotal to Peshawar, and 984 more were transferred in 2023.

An anonymous doctor mentioned that neither the hospital administration nor staff showed interest in improving competence. Referral cases to Peshawar were initially examined by trainees, whereas DHQ Landi Kotal had trained specialists. The hospital’s efficiency suffered due to a lack of essential facilities.

Dr Jamshed Sherani, MS of DHQ Hospital Landi Kotal, stated that since his tenure began, there had been a decrease in referral cases and an improvement in efficiency. Severe cases, including cardiac and complicated ones, were referred to downtown health centres for comprehensive care.

Dr. Sherani acknowledged the need for essential facilities like a CT Scan, Surgical and Medical Intensive Care Units (ICUs), and a centralized Oxygen plant to provide optimal care for severe patients.

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