HYDERABAD: Cardiac facilities at the Liaquat University hospitals (LUHs) in Hyderabad and Jamshoro have been handed over to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), Karachi. NICVD was given LUH's cardiac centres for five years under an agreement signed on Thursday after a meeting chaired by Health Minister Dr Sikandar Ali Mandhro in Hyderabad.
The agreement was signed by NICVD Executive Director Dr Nadeem Qamar, LUH Medical Superintendent Dr Abdul Wahab Wadho, NICVD's director of rehabilitation and the health minister.
According to the agreement, an autonomous board of the NICVD will be responsible to conduct planning, designing and delivery of health services at the hospitals' cardiac centres. The institute will also work for building capacity of doctors and paramedics. The NICVD will also procure drugs and will be responsible for availability of essential medicine, equipment, furniture and fixtures. The institute will not charge any fee for the services it will offer during the period of the agreement.
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"[The NICVD] will significantly improve the coverage and utilisation of service and quality of care by implementing the quality standards ... providing equitable access of services to the people," the agreement reads.
The government, on its part, will release the entire budget allocated to the cardiac centres of LUH, including salaries, pensions and allowances, to the NICVD. It will also pay for any expansion in the health services planned by the institute during the period of the agreement.
The agreement also allows the NICVD to hire staff against vacant posts for a minimum period of six months. The institute can also repatriate government staff to the health department in case of unsatisfactory performance. Furthermore, if the government fails to fill a vacant post within one month, NICVD will make an appointment against that vacancy while the salary will be paid by the government.
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LUH is a tertiary care teaching hospital of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, which has two campuses in Hyderabad and Jamshoro. It is also the largest government hospital in Sindh outside Karachi.
There was also a proposal, put forward by the former head of cardiothoracic surgery department of LUH, Dr Raheel Hussain, that the provincial government set up a cardiac institute in place of the existing cardiac facilities at the LUH. However, the proposal was not approved when it was presented before the cabinet.
Speaking on the occasion, the health minister said the Sindh government is providing funds amounting to billions of rupees to government hospitals so that they can upgrade health services. He acknowledged that the government hospitals are the only health facilities that cater to impoverished people. "Doctors should consider it an obligation to serve the poor and they should behave respectfully with them," Dr Mandhro said.
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