MAIMANA (Pajhwok): Some residents in different parts of northwestern Faryab province have complained against the cipher-based prescriptions issued by physicians and said business was underway by some physicians instead of treatment.
Humayon Qaderi, the resident of Qaisar district, told Pajhwok Afghan News this district had the status of a 3rd grade province on the bases of its population but in the past 20 years no development took place in the health sector but its people instead were victims of mafia group and businessmen.
Qadari said: “There are some individuals who have the ownership of some pharmacies, they brought doctors from other areas in Qaisar district who issue cipher-based prescriptions and the medicine could only be found in these particular pharmacies.”
He added if the patient’s problem is normal and he needs little medicine, his problem is explained serious in the prescription, he is referred to the laboratory for different types of tests, physician prescribed low-quality medicine and charged three to four thousand afghani for each prescription, and finally the fate of the patient is dragged to India and Pakistan.
He also complained against the doctors working in the public hospitals and said: “Relatives of influential people are looked after well but common people are sent to private pharmacies to purchase medicines, when a delegation from the centre visit Qaisar district for inspection purpose they are come back with cartons of peach, grapes, raisins and walnuts.”
Ahmad Farhad Qaisari, one of the local influential persons, said physicians in Qaisar have differently treat people here, they receive well their friends and relatives but they were not good with people coming from remote areas.
He added they forced other people to conduct unnecessary tests and prescribe irrelevant medicines to them.
Kamaluddin, the owner of Mohammadi pharmacy in Maimana City, said most doctors who have their own pharmacies have written cipher based prescriptions.
“We receive multiple prescriptions daily which are written in a cipher form, patients move here and there to find the medicine until they find it at a high price in the pharmacy related to the doctors who wrote the prescription.”
He asked the Public Health Department to stop physicians from writing cipher based prescriptions.
Dr. Abdul Hai Paigham, an eye specialist physician, in Maimana acknowledged public complaint and said most doctors wrote cipher based prescriptions and unnecessary medicines to the patients by undermining the principles of medical field.
Dr. Paigham said Every doctor wants to serve the society when he graduates, he takes an oath to be honest in his profession, to observe the ethics and rules of medicine, but a small number of physicians for their personal interest write the prescription in cipher form and gave unnecessary medicines to the patients, adding that giving unnecessary medicine to the patient works as poison for patient.
He said the way the security system of a country is important, the health system is equally important. The Ministry of Health should pay serious attention to the health sector and prevent violations.
On the contrary a newly opened clinic Khaiya Ensaf in Maimana City has 20 personnel and provide some free of cost medical service which sparked negative and positive reactions among people.
Some people questioned from which source this clinic generated the salaries its employees, rent of the building and other expenses while some believed that they may sell medicine at high price on customers, but according to the clinic owner and individual living in Saudi Arabia pay for the free off cost service of the clinic in order to support poor people.
About four months have passed since the start of the operation of this clinic, but there have been complaints about the quality of services and misdiagnosis of this health center, and several branches of this clinic have been blocked by the Department of Health due to non-compliance with health laws and employing non-professionals as doctors.
Ghulam Sakhi, the resident of Maimana, said his wife visited the Khairia Insaf clinic for a health problem and they diagnosed his problem as diabetes and gave medicines.
He said: “My wife took diabetes medicine for a week while she did not have diabetes, and at the same time she developed sugar anxiety and her health deteriorated, The same doctor re-examined and said that the prescription was given by mistake and that your lady does not suffer from diabetes, she is suffering from another problem and wrote medicine accordingly.”
Dr. Seema Ahi, one of the Public Health Department employees, said one of her patient went to that clinic and they found her suffering from diabetes.
On the bases of public complaints a team from the Public Health Department conducted investigation from the operation of Khairyah Insaf Clinic.
Khan Aqa Asak, deputy head of the provincial Public Health Department, said that two months ago the Khairya Insaf Clinic operation was investigated and necessary direction was given for improvement but during this period there was no improvement in the operation of this clinic and in addition there was shortage of professional doctor and people complained against low quality medical service.
He said: “During the second inspection, we observed that in this clinic, patients are examined and prescribed by midwives instead of doctors, so called doctors have no knowledge of ultrasound but they are operating with ultrasound machine, there were no bed and other equipment in the gynecology ward, their administrative personnel staff was not complete.”
Dr. Fayaz Amin, head of the Laws and Regulation Inspection Department, said the letter regarding the establishment of Khariya Insaf Clinic was shared with the Health Department but they started operation before meeting the required procedure.
He said four months after the start of its operation, the clinic has no proper equipment to entertain its patients.
Abdul Basir Tanha, who introduced himself as head of Insaf Clinic, said some requirement that were lacking had been met after the direction of the Public Health Department, but still 30 percent equipment and requirement were missing. He said efforts were underway to full equip this clinic.
He said this clinic has 20 qualified physicians and daily provided service from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. The clinic, he said has the capacity to entertain daily up to 350 patients.
He said apart from medicines all other testes and ultrasound were free of cost and medicines were also sold at low rate comparing to other clinics.
He said the Khairia Insaf Clinic like some other clinics in the country were supported by a specialist hailing from Paktia province who currently lived in Saudi Arabia and the purpose was to provide vulnerable people health support.
Public Health Director Mufti Abdul Hadi Farooqi, acknowledged public complaints in this regard and said two teams had been assigned to monitor the operation of clinics, pharmacies and health centres in the province.
He said Khairya Insaf clinic had been closed because it did not meet the necessary criteria for operation and it will remain closed until it meet all the requirement.
Referring to cipher based prescription, he said efforts were underway to stop this trend.
He asked people to support the health department drive against cipher based prescription and told people if they received these types of prescriptions they should refer to the health department.