KARACHI: Karachi, Pakistan’s most populous city with a high crime ratio, is facing a severe shortage of female medico-legal officers as only three MLOs are currently operating in the entire city.
Three major public hospitals of Karachi including the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), and the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) are facing an acute shortage of female medico-legal officers (MLOs), therefore, female victims and their attendants have to wait several days to get examined from female attendants.
Karachi Police Surgeon, Dr Qarar Abbasi, informed that only three women medico-legal officers are available in the major hospitals out of which one is on leave while only two are working. He reported that there are nine sanction posts of female MLOs in Karachi out of which only three are available while six posts are lying vacant since the past several months.
The acute shortage of female MLOs has increased the burden of work on male MLOs in major public hospitals. In case of an emergency, the existing male and female MLOs have to work extra hours against their duty hours.
There is an urgent need for female MLOs to handle the emergency cases and also to minimize the extra burden on male MLOs in the major hospitals of the city. The 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.
The number of female medico-legal officers has not increased keeping the current population and crime ratio of the city in mind as the existing sanction strength is a quarter century old.