KARACHI- Sindh government’s plan to upgrade the city’s six district hospitals by according them the status of teaching hospitals has been reportedly shelved over bureaucratic wrangling.
Sources confided to Medical News that although a year had passed since an announcement was made by Sindh health department that six district-level hospitals of the metropolis will be upgraded and given the status of teaching hospitals, no tangible results have, so far, been witnessed despite the fact a notification had also been issued in this regard.
The six public hospitals of different districts of the city which were to be upgraded and given the status of teaching hospitals included Sindh Government Saudabad Hospital, Sindh Govt Korangi Hospital, Sindh Govt Liaquatabad Hospital, Sindh Govt New Karachi Hospital, Sindh Govt Qatar Hospital of Orangi and Sindh Govt Ibrahim Hyderi Hospital.
The decision of upgrading the hospitals was hailed by the medical fraternity and representatives of doctors’ organizations.
Even the process of upgrading these hospitals had begun as three of them – Govt Liaquatabad Hospital, Govt New Karachi Hospital and Orangi Town’s Govt Qatar Hospital – were affiliated with Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), while the remaining three – Govt Saudabad Hospital, Govt Hospital Korangi and Govt Hospital Ibrahim Hyderi – were granted affiliation by Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU).
Moreover, former provincial secretary health Iqbal Durrani had also set up a committee for the purpose. The committee was headed by special secretary health Dr Mansoor Abbas and its members were: Jinnah Sindh Medical University’s vice chancellor Prof Tariq Rafi, Dow University of Health Sciences pro-vice chancellor Prof Umer Farooq, EDO Health Karachi Dr Zafar Ejaz, Dr Salam et al.
The committee was assigned the task of overseeing the process of affiliation of these hospitals with the JSMU and DUHS. Though the committee was asked to furnish its report to the health department within two weeks, no progress has, so far, been made in this regard.
Vice chancellor of the JSMU and a member of the committee, Prof Tariq Rafi, said affiliation of the hospitals with the JSMU had been delayed as the provincial government has not yet handed over administrative powers of these health care facilities to the university.
Another member of committee and director health Karachi, Dr Zafar Ejaz, said that the plan of upgrading the hospitals had been shelved following transfer of the then secretary health.
He opined that not only the health delivery system of these hospitals would improve manifold upon their upgradation, but the citizens would also get quality treatment.
Commenting over the situation, a leader of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Dr S M Qaisar Sajjad said that Sindh government took the decision of affiliating three district-level hospitals with the JSMU following administration of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) and National Institute of Child Health (NICH) had refused to affiliate their institutions with the JSMU over a year ago.
He was, however, of the view that affiliation of three district hospitals with the JSMU was not feasible as these institutions are located far away from the university.
In fact, PMA has demanded of the government to open three more hospitals in Karachi to reduce the burden on the three major health care facilities of the city – JPMC, CHK and ASH – as well as to provide better health facilities to the citizens.