Islamabad - After winning a long battle spanning over years in favour of expansion plan, Polyclinic Hospital is gearing up efforts to erect a new five-storey state-of-the-art building. The Federal Government Polyclinic Hospital has written to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to hand over the possession of around one-third of Argentine Park after the government approved expansion by using a portion of the park.

The federal cabinet in its recent meetings has approved the allocation of the Argentine Park land measuring 2.54 acres to be used for the extension of hospital in public interest that had been pending for years. Initially, Polyclinic Hospital was established in 1966 to cater to government servants but with the passage of time it started providing healthcare facilities to people other than government servants, raising patient load on the hospital that has reached up to 7,000 to 8,000 patients who visit various departments of the hospital daily.

Keeping in view the increasing patients load on the existing building of the hospital the capital administration conceived the plan to extend the facility in 2008 using park land. As the park was named after Argentina and the country’s embassy in Islamabad had provided funds for its construction and maintenance, the embassy of Argentina was contacted for permission to use the land.

The embassy as a good will gesture allowed to use the land for extension of the hospital and the then Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had also approved the proposal. But after the Supreme Court notice of handing over of F-9 Park land to a fast food outlet MacDonald, the CDA became much cautious in utilising park land for any commercial or other purposes and refused to hand over the possession. On the demand of CDA to take approval afresh from the cabinet, a summary was sent to the federal capital in October 2014 for the approval of allocation of land to be used for expansion of the hospital.

Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Usman Ibrahim has been taking keen interest in the extension project, maintained Dr Iftikhar Naru, Joint Executive Director of Polyclinic Hospital, saying that “the cabinet has approved the allocation of land to the hospital owing to his efforts.”

After Eid a meeting will take place with chairman CDA, secretary housing and works and public works department officials and after that work on feasibility designing and PC-I would be started, informed Dr Naru. The whole extension and reconstruction of the hospital project, according to rough estimates, will require around Rs 1.5 billion that will be completed over a period of five years.

According to the proposal prepared by the hospital officials, a new 5-storey building (with 2 basements and mezzanine) consisting of four-block structure will be constructed in phases. The whole outdoor patient and emergency departments will be shifted in the new block in Argentine Park and a new building will also replace the current hospital building.

Construction of new block in Argentine Park and intervening road, and shifting some facilities / activities to evacuate space for further construction at the site of the current hospital will continue in phase-wise so that hospital working may not cease at any stage, officials say.

The new 1,100 bedded (minimum) hospital will have latest diagnostic facilities with fully computerised investigation system,  full range of critical care services,  provision of full spectrum of specialised tertiary care, separate inflow of clinical departments with integration, hospital management information system, helipad supported 24/7 emergency services, and disabled and senior citizens’ friendly design.

All staff/hospital vehicles and support services will be arranged in the basement while the visitor parking will be within the boundary walls. Fire safety and earthquake proofing, renewable energy options and wireless networking will also be incorporated.