Completed at the cost of Rs3.6 billion, the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC) was formally inaugurated on Tuesday. The 272-bed cardiology hospital that took two years to be constructed was opened for public by the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif at an elaborate ceremony held for the purpose.
The facility will cater to the needs of patients coming from AJK, K-P and Rawalpindi region. The out-patient department (OPD) of RIC started working two weeks ago as the patients were being examined regularly there, said an official.
Speaking at the occasion, Shahbaz Sharif said the Punjab government has been trying hard to provide health facilities to the people despite facing financial hardships.
Patients suffering from heart problems would properly be taken care of at the RIC where competent cardiologists would attend them. The facility will also be serving people from outside Punjab, he added.
Meanwhile, renowned cardiologist General (retd) Dr Azhar Kiani of Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology is said to have agreed to work as the chief executive of RIC and a notification in this regard would be issued in two or three days.
Though the CM has inaugurated the hospital formally, its facilities other than the OPD are likely to be functional by the end of this year as different equipment and machinery is yet to be obtained.
The hospital has four departments, two each for children and adults with separate operation theatres. The indoor patient departments and OTs are yet to be made functional.
In the absence of tests like angiography, it is not possible to admit the cardiac patients and treat them, said an official.
Talking to The Express Tribune, RIC Medical Superintendent Dr Shoaib Khan said allocation has already been made for purchase of testing machines and all the necessary apparatus will be available by the end of the year.
Earlier, CM Sharif also laid the foundation stone of Rawalpindi Institute of Urology and Kidney Transplant (RIUKT) at Shamasabad and the Sixth Road Flyover. The provincial government has allocated Rs120 million for RIUT, whereas the flyover would be completed at a cost of around Rs100 million.
Sharif said the construction work on the state-of-the-art RIUKT has been kicked off and the institute would be completed by the end of this year. Punjab government has purchased a very precious piece of land in this regard along the Benazir Bhutto Road (BBR), he added.
Similarly, construction work on the Sixth Road Flyover was also kicked off. The project would be completed in 120 days. Just like the Chandni Chowk Flyover, this project is expected to lessen the traffic burden on the BBR. Work on Chur Chowl Flyover would begin very soon, the CM said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2012.