ISLAMABAD-The federal capital hospitals are facing shortage of minimum 2,000 beds to cater the needs of above 2 million people in the region, officials said on Thursday.

Officials said that bed capacity of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) was around 1,300; the Federal Government Services Polyclinic hospital, 550, and National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine around 500.

The officials said that the bed occupancy rate in all major government hospitals of the city was 100% and due to shortage of beds, sometimes unpleasant incidents took place between administration of the hospitals and the patients.

The officials added that non-construction of any new hospital in last 5 years and pending health projects directly shifted burden on the patients and hospitals.

The officials said that daily thousands of patients visit these main hospitals of the city including residents and non-residents across the Pakistan.

“Population of the city reached 2.2million, while the number of beds in the hospitals remained 2,000,” said the officials.

They added that minimum 2,000 more beds are required to meet requirement of the patients visiting hospitals of the city on emergency basis.

The officials said that on average, above 5,000 patients are daily visiting government hospitals in OPDs and due to shortage of beds, a large number is adjusted on stretchers which lead to shortage of stretchers in hospitals.

PIMS hospital was established in 1987 with 650 beds and two departments, however; later on, with the establishment of other departments including Children Hospital, Burn Care Centre and Liver Transplant Centre, the bed capacity was increased to 1,100 in 2015.

Officials said that with the capacity of 650 beds, the hospital was catering to around 700 patients daily, while now with 1,300 above beds, the hospital is covering around 5,000 patients daily.

Officials added that similarly, delay in extension of FGSP hospital also increased sufferings of the residents of the city as the project will take five more years to be completed.

“Its healthcare being delayed,” said the officials.

Officials added that NIRM was the only hospital for physically-disabled persons in the region providing free healthcare to the patients coming from different areas of the country. They said that the NIRM kept struggling to get possession of the allotted plot to start the construction to double the capacity of the hospital.

Officials said that however, now the PC-2 had been approved and extension project of the NIRM hospital was expected to be completed in two years.

Spokesperson Ministry of National Health Services sharing the details said that government had planned to double the capacity of beds in the hospital in next five years.

He said that in the federal, there are 9 beds for population of 10,000 people, while universal minimum requirement is 18 beds for 10,000 people.

“In Islamabad, there are only 2,000 hospital beds for a population of 2.2 million, which mean that only 9 hospital beds are available for 10,000 populations,” he said.

He said that to tackle the severe shortage of hospital beds government will construct 24/7 MCH hospital in Barakahu with 50 bedded facility. He said that two new Rural Health Centres and 9 new BHUs would be also constructed, while a separate King Salman Islamabad General Hospital will be constructed with initially 200 beds and later capacity will be increased to 500 beds.

He also said that extension project of polyclinic hospital will be also completed. The approved schemes of Polyclinic hospital include MCH services, MRI, trauma centre, neurosurgery and oncology.

Similarly, implementation of approved schemes of PIMS hospital, are Non-radiation services, MCH extension, Haematology.

Up-gradation of Services in Federal Government Hospital at NIH and expansion of National Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine will also increase bed capacity.

He said that hospitals in the federal capital also provide services to the nearby districts which increases burden on the hospitals, however government will double the capacity in upcoming years.