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The Omniscient has sustained and adorned the physiques of the rest of the living beings in this deciduous world with the imperative and valuable tool of the eye. as well as other organs, the eye has an essential and optimal role in the body of living organisms. However, the value and importance of the eye can only be determined by those people who are visually impaired and cannot observe with their physical eye. It is manifested in human life that we have a dire need to care for these priceless but very susceptible souvenirs of the Sabbath. The presence of an optometrist guarantees the same responsibility as other physical doctors. Currently, a large number of skilled optometrists serve as primary eye care experts in public and private sector eye hospitals and eye care centers domestically and around the world.
These adepts serve humanity in their particular field in developed and underdeveloped countries alike along with ophthalmologist and eye surgeons and take care of visually sick patients like “Conjunctival Hyperemia” (Ashobechashm), treatment of low vision and also provide examination and treatment of all types of other infectious and non-infectious diseases related to the eyes. of course, in addition to several other eye tests, these professionals are always ready for medical examinations that are prerequisites for obtaining pre- and post-surgery eye patients. Moreover, this will be a better solution than our country, which has a growing population and an extreme shortage of ophthalmologists and surgeons, under such conditions it is not convenient for our government to replace these highly professional individuals in the peripheral rural areas of the country. Due to the later mentioned facts, the poor patients have to travel long distances and have to bear unbearable expenses even to proceed to their nearest eye hospitals/centers to get a compliant treatment.
In such circumstances, it is appropriate that the government comfortably assigns the responsibilities of the optometrist in the ambient areas of the country for preliminary examinations and treatments instead of placing a heavy burden on the shoulders of ophthalmologists and surgeons. As far as my knowledge is concerned, optometrist appointment is preliminary eye care, examination and diagnosis of eye related diseases and in case of any complications the patient is referred to ophthalmologists and surgeons for further and better treatment. It is a good gesture that recognizing the importance of the role of optometrist, provincial governments like Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, including some of the Federally Controlled Areas, have already delegated the position to BPS 17, accepted the Interim Provincial Government of GB (Gilgit Baltistan ). Despite the availability of a large number of optometrist candidates, the GB government is failing to introduce appropriate ways of working to accommodate this local efficient workforce for better healthcare for the people of the area. Consequently, these worthy professionals are forced to extend their services to other parts of the country living far from their homes.
It is a tyranny that in GB province ophthalmologists and optometrists are only available in district level hospitals. It is suggested that the GB government should consider such fundamental type of work and prepare a suitable plan of action and initiate steps on priority basis to establish eye care centers or at least create posts and appoint optometrists at Tehsil and union council level following the request and to resolve the difficulties and issues of the people of the region in this regard. While, on the other hand, it came to the knowledge of this writer that a year ago the vacant positions for optometrists were published in the national and local media, and even the procedure for the written tests was simulated, and the names of 6 successful candidates for the positions of optometrists were announced. .
Despite the lengthy period of one year, successful candidates are yet to wait for interviews and meetings in their respective departments. However, after investigation, it was also learned that instead of calling for an interview, the GB authorities are now shifting the responsibility on the shoulders of the FPSC, and after further inquiry, the authorities clarified that soon the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) will proceed with the schedule of fresh test for the above positions at MK level. However, she perceives that the GB administration has no priority in solving such a fundamental issue. The candidates further expressed their deep concern over the slow procedure and termed it as a misleading tactic by the GB authorities with the optometrist and the people of the region. They demanded that the provincial government immediately find a proper solution to this basic issue so that they can breathe a sigh of relief.