The residents of Farash Town no longer have to travel for about 40 minutes just to see a doctor for serious illness. The newly-established Al-Nafees Welfare Hospital and Medical College was formally inaugurated by Senate Chairperson Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari on Thursday.
The facility has been established by Isra Islamic Foundation and will provide healthcare services to people at “minimal” costs, according to the administration.
The welfare hospital is the area’s first tertiary healthcare facility and has already been operating for about a month. Previously, the local residents had to go to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), which is located at a distance of 20km by road, around 30-40 minutes of travel depending on the traffic.
The hospital has separate outpatients department for paediatrics, gynaecology, ENT, cardiology and ophthalmology.
Patients can register themselves for Rs20, which will cover the doctor’s fee besides the cost of medicine and drips for three days. The hospital’s room charges have been set at Rs500 per day.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Bukhari stressed on the need for public-private partnership in all sectors to facilitate people.
“It is unfortunate that the health sector has always failed to meet people’s needs. The blame simply lies with mismanagement within the sector, lack of research-based practices with a focus on curative rather than preventive measures, and improper usage of funds,” he remarked.
The chairman said that the educational institutions are under external pressures and penetrating influences which must be managed to maintain commitment to teaching and research.
“We have the intellectual capacity but need freedom to revisit the golden age of science and technology that progressed and flourished in medieval times,” said Bukhari.
He added that the population of Islamabad is increasing and the existing hospitals are insufficient to meet people’s needs.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2012.