Balancing workloads: K-P health dept devolves powers

PESHAWAR: To improve governance and optimise service delivery at health facilities, the provincial government has decided further devolve its powers by appointing medical superintendents at different category ‘D’ hospitals as deputy district health officers.

The deputy district health officers (DDHO) will be responsible for the supervision, monitoring, controlling, administrative and financial affairs, read a summary moved by the health department to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chief minister.

According to the summary, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, DDHOs will work under the District Health Officers (DHO) of the respective district.

It also stated that the DDHOs will act as the DDO under the prevailing rules including the functions of preparation, management, implementation and utilisation of budget with respect to the health facilities under their administrative and financial control.

“The DDHO will exercise administrative and financial powers under the delegation of powers rules and amendments thereto from time to time by the government,” the summary read, adding that the officer “shall abide all the rules pertaining to financial management of provincial as well as district government, as the case may be and as an affair qualifies thereto.”

Even as the medical superintendent (MS) of category ‘D’ hospital assumes responsibilities of the DDHO, it noted that they will continue to perform their base duties as MS at their concerned health facility.

Moreover, the DDHOs and MS will utilise their existing offices for dispensing all responsibilities entrusted to them.

The summary, however, read that all the vertical programmes will remain under the financial and administrative control of the DHOs until further orders.

Meanwhile, the DHOs have been asked to prepare a budget for each Category C, D and Rural Health Centre under their control apart from a budget for all basic health units, civil dispensaries and all mother and child health in their respective tehsils and towns.

The district health setup consists of several health services delivery facilities, outreach programmes, and vertical programmes including the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital (THQ), Rural Health Centre (RHC), Basic Health Unit (BHU), Extended Immunisation Programme, Mother and Child Health Centres and others.

At the moment, health affairs at the district level are supervised by a centralised governance structure wherein the administrative and supervisory controls are exercised by DHO.

K-P government is continuously striving to evolve health sector in order to achieve the optimum benefit within the available resources for the general public.

The orders were issued in order to restructure the district public health institutional setup, optimising stewardship through strengthened governance.

The DHO is solely responsible for all managerial functions including planning for policy implementations, budgeting and allocations of resources, budget execution, monitoring and inspection of services delivery, performance assessment, and general administration.

On average, a DHO is responsible for the functioning of over 30 health facilities under his administrative control.

Through this move, the DHO’s load will be shared by another official.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2018.

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