ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) is taking the initiative of commencing two important post-graduate programmes in near future and all the preliminary work in this regard has been successfully accomplished. The two new medical programmes are MD in Blood Transfusion/Banking and MS in Emergency Medicines, and, according to PIMS officials, the classes are expected to start from this July. PIMS has taken this initiative in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU). "PIMS being the premier hospital of the country has felt the need to train the consultants in these important fields. PIMS Academic Council under the chairmanship of Professor Mumtaz, Dean of Post-Graduate Medical College of QAU, has approved the starting of these programmes," said PIMS spokesman and Deputy Director Dr Wasim Khawaja while talking to TheNation on Friday. He said the case would be presented in the academic council of QAU on Saturday (today) for in principle approval. "After getting a nod from QAU, the programmes will start from July 1, 2009 and PIMS would become the first hospital of the country to initiate these two important medicine programmes," he added. He said fortunately the PIMS had recently trained persons in that particular medical field and they would play the pivotal role in starting the programmes and laying down the foundation of this much needed specialisation. "The trained consultants will not only provide the valuable services in the field but will also be available to serve as the directors of blood banks all over Pakistan," he added. For hiring additional faculty for these programmes, PIMS is approaching the faculty of other medical institutions such as Armed Forces Institute of Transfusion and some of them have already shown their willingness in terms of providing teaching and training support, he further informed. MD in Blood Transfusion or Blood Banking is a four-year programme while the duration of MS Degree in Emergency Medicines will be two-year, said Dr Anwarul Haq, Head of Pathology Department PIMS. He said the MD programme in Blood Banking or Blood Transfusion was aimed at providing career development training for qualified physicians to prepare them for leadership positions in blood banking. The blood banking is an upcoming discipline and the need for trained people in this field has been felt for long, he added. He said like any other field of medicine this discipline had been improved all over the world with remarkable results, which led to the increase in the importance of rational and appropriate use of blood and its products. The trained personnel in the field will also be instrumental in developing these practices, he concluded.