KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved Rs1 billion for medicines, surgical disposable items and allowed recruitment of doctors and other necessary staff against vacant posts at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).
He took this decision on Tuesday while presiding over a meeting of the JPMC to review its problems and solve them. The meeting, held at CM House, was attended by Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Executive Director of the JPMC Seemin Jamali and others.
Dr Jamali giving a presentation to the chief minister said that the JPMC was a 1,650-bed tertiary care centre which provided the highest standard of medical care to all segments of society. The outpatient department per day catered to 4,500 patients and bed occupancy rate was 83.78 per cent while the emergency department entertained more than 1,000 patients.
‘I want to provide best health facilities to the people of Sindh and those coming here from Balochistan, Punjab and other areas’
She said the JPMC catered to more than one million patients annually free of charge, probably the highest figure in the country, and more than 27,000 major and minor surgeries were performed in a year. “The centre is also involved in postgraduate as well as nursing and paramedical teaching and training with trainees’ attendance being 1,360,” she said and added that the attached departments included Basic Medical Science Institute, College of Physiotherapy, College of Medical Technology, College of Nursing and School of Nursing.
She said the JPMC required essential equipment, furniture to enhance diagnostic treatment facilities, teaching and training through a special grant.
The chief minister directed Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi to give her the requisite funds. “I want to provide best health facilities to the people of Sindh and those who come here from Balochistan, Punjab and other provinces,” he added.
Giving details of the equipment, Dr Jamali presented a list of 132 items worth Rs 918,005,600. On this the chief minister said he would provide maximum funds and make the JPMC one of the best-equipped hospitals in the country.
The chief minister was told that the JPMC administration had hired the services of private janitorial staff whose annual charges came to Rs9 million. She said that there were 332 sanitary workers’ posts, of which 103 were lying vacant. “These 332 posts of sanitary workers were sanctioned when the bed strength of the hospital was 1,185 and now it has increased to 1,650 with additional new units such as medical ICU, Department of Neurosurgery, CyberKnife Radiology, ENT Unit-II, Endocrine Surgery etc. The chief minister approved an increase of sanitary budget of the hospital from Rs4.64m to Rs20m and urged the executive director to provide health services to the patients in a clean and hygienic atmosphere.
Talking about electricity bills, the executive director of the JPMC said the average monthly bill of the JPMC was around Rs37.5m and the annual sanctioned budget for the purpose was Rs269.5m. On this the chief minister directed the secretaries for finance and energy to talk to KE authorities and get them JPMC electricity on subsidised rates. However, he also asked the finance secretary to reconcile the bills of the JPMC with KE and pay them.
Another issue taken up at the meeting was of security. The JPMC has 84 posts of chowkidars for its 28 clinical wards and 40 multi-story buildings scattered over 75 acres.
The CM directed Dr Jamali to work out a detailed security plan for the hospital and send it to him. “I would either allow you ad hoc appointments or hiring of private security,” he said and added that whatever arrangement might be made “we would provide you adequate security”.
Dr Jamali proposed a project to construct 72 apartments for staff in the residential area of the JPMC. The chief minister approved the project which would cost around Rs351m and directed his principal secretary Sohail Rajput to co-ordinate with the JMPC administration and get the project approved.
The executive director also informed the chief minister that at the JPMC out of 2,646 posts of different nomenclatures, 938 were vacant. The chief minister asked her to send a summary for recruitment of necessary staff. “I would approve the recruitment process and then start it purely on merit,” he said. “We cannot delay recruitment in essential services.”