KARACHI – Three major public sector hospitals of the city – Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) – are facing acute shortage of female medico-legal officers (MLOs).
A senior medico-legal officer of JPMC, who wished not to be quoted, said that since there is an acute shortage of female MLOs in all the three major public sector hospitals of city, the burden of work has increased manifold on male MLOs.
According to him, only two female MLOs are available in JPMC and CHK, while there is only one female MLO for Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
He said that 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.
He said three major hospitals of city – JPMC, CHK and ASH – had the facility of MLOs, while medico-legal department of six other hospitals such as Lyari General Hospital, Sindh government hospitals of New Karachi, Liaquatabad, Saudabad, Korangi and Orangi Town’s Qatar Hospital are non-functional due to shortage of MLOs.
He said that there is an urgent need to appoint female MLOs for handling emergency cases.
According to a report compiled by Sindh health department, around 3,500 post-mortems are carried out in the city each year, whereas 30,000 affected people are issued medico-legal certificates annually in different cases. These certificates help victims’ families in seeking justices from courts of law.
Senior MLO at CHK, Dr Nisar Ali Shah when contacted confirmed that few seats of female MLOs have been lying vacant in major public hospitals of the city.