Islamabad-Minister of Capital Administration and Development Division after failing to build new hospitals in the capital during the past four years to lessen burden on existing health facilities has resorted to renovating the old set ups.

The capital hospitals cater to the needs of patients from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa up to Jhelum district of Punjab, to Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, which makes it difficult for them to manage the influx. However, successive governments have failed to add to the health facilities available in the city. The situation remained the same during the four year tenure of the current Minister for CADD Dr Tariq Fazal Ch as well.

The minister, apparently after criticism from press, especially The Nation, has found a way to project his performance, as he inaugurated an already-built ward at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). Under Prime Minister Health Programme, two hospitals of 500 beds each were to be built in the capital by the CADD could not initiate practical work on the project till date.

The minister and PIMS officials declared the ward renovation a milestone towards providing health facilities to the patients. Dr Tariq while inaugurating the ward said that burden had been immensely increased on PIMS as the patients from Peshawar to Kashmir visited the hospital. The minister stated that the hospital was constructed only for the needs of the capital city but now patients from across Pakistan were coming here for treatment.

Talking about lack of facilities in the hospital, the minister said that the non-functional central air conditioning system and failure to install waste insulator in the hospital was negligence. However, he said that a new emergency ward and pathology department had been built in the hospital to facilitate the patients.

Dr Tariq also said that biometric system and CCTV cameras had been installed in the hospital for security. The minister added that the centralised air conditioning system and the waste insulator would be soon added to the hospital.

According to him, the bill for separation of PIMS from Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University would be approved from the Senate in the upcoming session and after that, the recruitment process to overcome the staff shortage would be initiated, he added.

The minister said that PIMS hospital would be upgraded on the patterns of model wards system. “The patient influx has increased but the ministry has also taken steps to meet the challenge,” he said.

Secretary CADD Azhar Chaudhry said on the occasion that renovation of the ward was a positive step but the burden the hospital was facing needed more measures to overcome the challenge of the huge number of patients the hospital is receiving daily. He added that along with increasing medical facilities, there was also a need of working on the staff behaviour of the hospitals.

Acting Vice Chancellor Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Dr Abid Farooqi said that the hospital staff was giving its best performance with the available resources. He said the hospital was facing shortage of human resource in the hospital.