KARACHI - Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) Vice Chancellor Prof Saeed Quraishy has said at least 3000-4000 community medicine centers with all the comprehensive primary health facilities are required in the country to lower the disease burden on tertiary-care hospitals. He expressed these views after inaugurating the Ehad Medical Center, a community medicine center in FB Area Karachi.

Dow University of Health Sciences would provide the diagnostic services at the Ehad Medical Center (EMC), a new chain of community medicine center established with public-private center where top of the line consultants would be available while patients would also be able to consult international experts in the United States, United Kingdom, Turkey and anywhere in the world through telemedicine.

Organisers plan to establish 10 such centers in Karachi within a year and 100 such centers throughout the country in next 3-5 years where patients would also be able to consult with doctors while sitting at their homes while medicines would be delivered to their doorsteps through dispatch riders on the same day or latest by the next day.

Prof Quraishy said Dow University had also established two such community centers in low-income group communities in Karachi but they lacked such comprehensive primary healthcare facilities like Ehad Medical Center but hoped that with the help of private center and philanthropists, more such community centers could be established in different areas to benefit community toprovide all their health solutions under one roof.

MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Region President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) President Prof. Abdul Basit, who would be heading the clinical side of the chain of Ehad Medical Centers in the country, deplored that national institutes of cardiovascular diseases, urology and transplantation and ophthalmology centers were overwhelmed with patients whose diseases were preventable and added that patients had no other option other than to approach the tertiary-care hospitals to seek advanced medical assistance and treatment on state’s expenses.

“Thousands of heart attacks, kidney failures, amputations of lower limbs and blindness can be prevented if people are provided comprehensive primary healthcare facilities and services closer to their homes. These are preventable diseases and can easily be prevented by setting up primary healthcare facilities like Ehad Medical Center throughout the country,” Prof Abdul Basit said adding that such centers would also result in improved healthcare services at the tertiary-care facilities.

The eminent diabetologist maintained that standardized healthcare at the primary centers could not only lower the incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, kidney failures and blindness but would also reduce the disease burden on the country’s fragile health system and hoped that Ehad would come upto the expectations of the community in alleviating their sufferings.

Project Director of the Ehad Medical Center Syed Jamshaid Ahmed said Ehad is a pledge to the community and the people of Pakistan where four in one health services including diagnostic services, consultation clinics, pharmacy and telemedicine facilities would be provided to people and added that healthcare of international standard would be available to people in a paperless environment. Renowned comedian and actor Ayaz Khan, actor and director Anwar Iqbal, Haroon Qasim, Syed Yasir Ali Hashmi, GM Operations at Ehad Healthcare, Dr. Hooria Chaudhry and others also spoke.