Karachi: Recently a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed between officials of Pakistan British Business Council (PBBC) and Economic Council of Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP-EC). Julian Hamilton Barns, Chairman, PBBC, and Rashid Iqbal, Chief Executive, PBBC, and Majyd Aziz, President, Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP), Ismail Suttar, Director, EFP, Chairman, EFP-EC were present in the occasion. Ismail Suttar signed an MOU where Julian Hamilton Barns Mehmood Arshad and Rashid Iqbal signed as witnesses. The ceremony was presided over by Majyd Aziz, President, EFP.
Majyd Aziz in his address of welcome, stated that one of the objectives of forming the EFP Economic Council was to reach out to foreign investors who are willing to come to Pakistan and who believe in the potential of Pakistan’s economy and people. The EFP-EC had become a strategic partner of the Commonwealth Enterprise and the Investment Council UK with the sole purpose of accelerating its outreach globally. He assured the PBBC that the EFP would extend all help, and that is why it facilitated the exclusive meetings with top Pakistani executives and investors for the PBBC regarding this initiative.
Ismail Suttar, Director, EFP, and Chairman, EFP-EC, outlined the efforts undertaken by the Council and informed that already it had achieved success in facilitating EFP Member companies in foreign countries. He also said that Nafees Zakaria, Pakistan High Commissioner in London, is continuously interacting with the Council and that well-researched reports and feasibility studies are being prepared being sent to the High Commissioner.
Barns informed that he visited Pakistan sometime back when he that there was a crucial need to set up more Centers of Excellence for Medical Education and Training. Furthermore, he noted that professional managers would run the operations and administration of these hospitals to ensure quality service. “The Indus Unity Healthcare Ltd was set up in London under the aegis of the Pakistan Britain Business Council with the initiative to establish 25 world-class modular hospitals with a capacity of accommodating 1000 beds each,” He added.
Barns also informed that this initiative had received significant support from the global health community, including the Royal College of Physicians, UK, and the World Health Organization. The RCP will provide clinical input to the design of the hospital campus and operating infrastructure and systems. The feasibility, engineering, and design of the hospitals would be under the world-renowned consultants, Mott McDonald.
Barns added that there would be an Outreach Community Healthcare program to deliver healthcare to the wider community through mobile surgeries, satellite surgeries, and pharmacies. This initiative would ensure that people with low income would be covered. The idea was that those who can pay will pay. He revealed that the support of the National Health Services, UK, and the Pakistan Diaspora in the UK, especially doctors, would be acquired so that their experience can be channelized for the welfare of the citizens here. He advocated the imperative need for developing a private-public partnership with the Federal as well as Provincial governments and hoped that there would be a linkage with the government under the Ehsas Sehat Program and the Benazir Income Support Program.
Barns also informed that the financing would be broad-based. A Bond Issue would be floated to raise the initial capital, especially from London. Equity would also be offered to foreign and domestic investors as well as to the government. Global banks would also finance the debt.
Rashid Iqbal informed that there was considerable interest in London for this project, and he was confident that Pakistani doctors in the UK would offer their services and expertise. The PBBC was fully on board with this idea, and it would use its influence in the UK as well as in Pakistan to promote this great initiative, he added.