Rawalpindi - The provincial government has failed to complete the construction of ‘Mother and Child Care Hospital’, despite a period of 10 years.

Due to delay on part of the government, tens of thousands of poor patients are forced to go to private clinics for medical treatment and pay heavy charges. These views were expressed by Executive Director of Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO), Syed Kausar Abbas, while talking to media men here on Wednesday.

He said that SSDO launched community level campaign for completion of specialised women hospital in Rawalpindi. He said the hospital construction began in 2007 in Bagh Sardaran but remained incomplete despite spending 1.5 billion rupees from public exchequer on the 105 Kanal land owned by federal government. He added the project was initiated by PML-Q government in 2007 but could not be completed due to shortage of time and was handed over to the next government in 2008. The Pakistan Peoples’ Party government could not complete the project and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government also failed to do so.  “The building of the hospital is 70 per cent complete but it lies in ruins because it has been vacant since a decade,” Syed Kausar said.

He mentioned that the government must spend money on the mother and child healthcare as per sustainable development goals set by United Nations.

He said that as per government statistics, the total approved cost of the project was 1325.044 million rupees in 2007 and increased to 3311 million rupees in 2008. It has now increased up to four times due to inflation.

As per the information received under Right to Information Act, the structure of main building is completed except fourth floor, while Chest Disease Center OPD is 98 percent complete, and Staff Apartment A type is 100 percent complete. Staff Apartment B type is 66 percent complete, and Doctors hostel is 78 percent complete, whereas Nurses hostel is 22 complete. The mosque is also entirely completed, he said. He said the statistics of completion report showed that only minor construction work and major equipment work is left.

He stressed that the federal and provincial government needs to allocate funds on immediate basis to complete the work on hospital.

Kausar Abbas said that the government has spent billions of rupees on construction of roads but very little on hospitals and schools adding that priorities are misplaced.

Thousands of women from low-income backgrounds lose their lives because of medical negligence and poor treatment during pregnancy. Yet, the government has not taken any major steps to provide proper care and treatment to these women Kausar Abbas said that SSDO will launch a campaign with the help of local communities, political stakeholders and media to demand the immediate completion of the mother child care hospital in Rawalpindi.

He urged the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan

Abbasi, and Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif to take notice and allocate funds for completion of the only hospital being formed for the purpose of mother and child healthcare.