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Karachi in urgent need of one more 500-bed children hospital: President Alvi

President Arif Alvi on Monday acknowledged urgent need for at least one more 500-bed children hospital in the Sindh metropolis.

 

Talking to reporters following his surprise visit to the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) here, he said it was a critical requirement to meet the growing pressure of patients from the city itself as well as from other parts of the country in search of specialized medical treatment.

Four to five child patients could be seen accommodated on a single bed at the NICH and “this is definitely a matter of serious concern for me and also for the government,” he added.

The situation, he said, reflected the intensity in terms of patients’ load as well as that of resource constraints.

To a question, President Alvi said it was on the advice of Prime Minister Imran Khan that he was visiting the facility.

“I have also sought details of the recent tragic incident at the NICH causing loss of a precious life,” he said, mentioning that NICH Director Dr Syed Jamal Raza had given him a detailed presentation on the working of the facility. “I was told that there are 70 incubators at the NICH,” he added.

About another question with regard to transfer of three major tertiary care hospitals, including Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC), NICH and National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), he said it was in compliance with the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

“Equal responsibilities lie upon the federal and provincial governments to ensure smooth transfer of administrative control so that no inconvenience is caused to the patients in any manner,” President Alvi said.

The president, who also accompanied by First Lady Mrs Samina Alvi, took round of different wards and distributed gifts among the child patients.

He also personally listened to the caretakers accompanying the kids and observed with concern that many of them have to procure medicines and other essential accessories for the kids from outside the hospital.

“We are answerable to these kids being treated at the public sector facilities,” he said. “These are major challenges as load is much more than resource capacities of each of the government hospitals.”

“Concrete and long term measures have to be taken,” he said, adding the support extended by philanthropists was highly appreciable.

“We have to realize the intensity of situation as there are several charitable hospitals trying to meet the needs but the demand for quality and specialized medical care is ever escalating,” he emphasized seeking equal attention towards prevention and timely interventions.

The president later also visited National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD). He on the occasion took round of the emergency units, out-patient department (OPD), adult wards, cath lab and different assessment units to help procure first hand information about the well-being of the patients. He mingled with the heart patients and their attendants.

The president said their care was to be duly accorded top priority by the their representatives at the provincial as well as federal levels.

NICVD Executive Director Prof Dr Nadeem Qamar gave him a detailed briefing about the services being provided free of charge at the institute and its satellite clinics in different parts of Sindh.

President Alvi appreciated the efforts and suggested to replicate the same in other areas. NICVD Executive Administrative Officer Dr Hamidullah Malik, Chief Executive Officer Azra Maqsood and Management Consultant Hyder Awan were also present on the occasion.