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Public health facilities require image building to gain patients’ trust: Commissioner Karachi

KARACHI: Public health institutions like the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) Karachi are among the world’s best medical institutions as they offer the services of top of the line medical professionals and state-of-the-art equipment like Cyberknife, PET Scan, and other facilities.

However, there is also a need to further improve their image by creating awareness about quality health services being provided to the people of entire Pakistan, said Iftikhar Ali Shalwani, Commissioner Karachi.

“Fortunately, Pakistan has some of the best doctors in the world, and they are working at top medical institutions around the world. We have institutions like the JPMC in Karachi, where people from across the country and abroad to avail quality medical treatment without any charge. All we need at the moment is to build a positive image of our public health institutions and restore the patients’ confidence in government-run health facilities,” said Iftikhar Ali Shalwani, Commissioner Karachi, while speaking at the inaugural session of the 54th Annual Symposium at the JPMC.

Around 1000 delegates from across Pakistan and abroad are attending the five-day symposium, during which 36 workshops on different aspects of medical science, surgeries, interventions, and treatments are being showcased.

The Commissioner Karachi maintained that Pakistan might have imported many things and professionals from abroad, but what Pakistan does not need are foreign doctors as the country’s physicians and doctors are among the world’s best medical professionals, who are serving across the globe at present.

“We have one of the best teams of medical professionals working at the JPMC under the leadership of Dr Seemin Jamali, which has even been acknowledged by the World Bank, World Health Organization, and other international agencies,” he observed.

Shalwani said that the JPMC had set an example for other public health facilities in the province as well as the country by providing the latest and most modern treatment facilities to the people of Pakistan under the Public-Private Partnership. He advised other public hospitals to learn from the experience of the JPMC to make the world’s best facilities available to the patients with the help of philanthropists and civil society.

In response to the press, he said children who were not vaccinated would be the focus of the next polio vaccination drive in Karachi scheduled for December 2019. He added that there were 7-8 high-risk UCs in Karachi, which would be given special attention to eradicating polio.

Responding to another query, Commissioner Karachi said that a scientific approach was required to eliminate stray dogs from Karachi. He added that cleanliness campaigns must continue in Karachi to get the city rid of heaps of garbage and prevent its citizens from infectious diseases.

Former JPMC Executive Director, Prof Hasan Manzoor Zaidi, deplored that due to years of neglect, the JPMC was now facing an acute shortage of staff including professors and doctors, nursing staff, and paramedics adding that the patient load on the hospital has increased manifolds, which has also resulted in extra burden on the under-staffed medical institution.

He, however, lauded the role of donors for various projects initiated under the public-private partnership that helped patients in acquiring quality medical treatment in recent years and hoped that the issue of recruitment and promotions at the JPMC would be resolved soon to ensure quality service.

Executive Director, JPMC, Dr Seemin Jamali, in her welcome address, gave a detailed overview of services and facilities available at the health facility. She noted that despite facing a shortage of resources, half a million patients were treated at the JPMC emergency, 1.5 million patients visited the Out-Patient Departments, over 33,000 major surgeries were performed, and more than 20,000 babies were delivered at the JPMC last year.

The JPMC is the front line hospital for any mass disaster in the city and the province. Donors and philanthropists donated millions of rupees to the JPMC for the provision of state-of-the-art radiological facilities such as Cyberknife, PET scan, along with the construction of a multipurpose surgical complex, and several other facilities, she said. The JPMS is the only facility that was providing the world’s best available treatment facilities free of charge to the underprivileged patients, she added.

“The workload of this institution is perpetually increasing on account of the ever-increasing population of the city and also for the reason of reputation earned by the JPMC for providing prompt and effective medical services. To perform this daunting task, we have a total of 2,100 regularly employed doctors, nurses, and other support staff,” she added.

October 26, 2019

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