KARACHI– It has recently been brought to attention that, the Medico-Legal Department of Karachi has been facing acute shortage of Medico-legal officers (MLOs), since several years.
Karachi Police Surgeon, Dr Ejaz Ahmed Khokhar, informed that, the department was sanctioned with 71 posts, out of which 40 were still lying vacant. This apparent shortage of medico-legal officers has been putting extra burden on the existing MLOs and the entire department.
Dr Khokhar added that, there are only three Medico-Legal Centres(MLC) in Karachi that are fully functional, including Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC), Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH); whereas, the MLC of Sindh Government Qatar Hospital and Sindh Government Hospital Saudabad are partially operational.
The plan to make Medico-Legal Centres at Sindh Government Lyari General Hospital, Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad, Sindh Government Hospital New Karachi and Sindh Government Hospital Korangi, hasn’t been materialized yet.
Ideally, there should be at least 4 women and 6 male MLOs in every hospital, but newly graduated doctors seem less interested in entering the Medico legal Sector, and the ones currently serving the sector are close to retirement. If the current situation persists, Pakistan will soon be facing this kind of acute shortage of Medico legal Officers.
The MLOs formulate reports that contain the cause and time of death, nature of death and other necessary details compiled in an official form at the time of autopsy, providing the basis for a court case, and has the power to impact the final decision.
The Medico-Legal Department of Karachi was unable to dispose fresh cases of rape, severely injured and dead bodies of women, within proper time, all due to shortage of female Medico-legal Officers at Centres.
These centers are deprived of resources to initiate training system for new male and female MLOs of the province.
Dr Khokhar informed that, doctors had been hired through Sindh Public Services Commission for MLO posts but, they haven’t joined their duties yet.
He stressed upon the need to fill these vacant posts, to increase the strength of MLOs as per population and crime ratio of Karachi.