Lunch is served: At PIMS, free meals for patients’ attendants

A local philanthropist will foot the bill.

Our Correspondent April 03, 2014
File photo of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad. PHOTO: FILE


The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Wednesday started giving three free meals-a-day to patients’ attendants.

Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Medical University Vice Chancellor Prof Javed Akram said that with the help of a philanthropist, the hospital went ahead with the move after considering the predicament of lower-income attendants who could not pay for three meals from cafeterias inside the hospital or nearby restaurants.

“I have personally seen many such non-affording people eating one time meal or buying sub-standard food from outside the hospital,” he said.

Prof Akram said that two attendants with each patient will be given quality food every day.

“Due to financial constraints, the Pims management cannot afford to do this alone. A philanthropist has taken this initiative,” he said.

Akram said there were seven cafeterias running inside the hospital area on a contract basis, however, he found that the quality of the food they were providing was not satisfactory. “Besides this, they are overcharging poor people,” he said.

“We are planning to reduce the number of cafeterias and strictly monitor the quality and pricing of the food,” he said.

Ahmed Ali, who hails from AJK, is waiting on his wife, who has been admitted in the gynecology department for the last week. He said he cannot afford three meals a day. “To satisfy my appetite, I usually go to a nearby mosque to get food or just have one roti with a cup of tea during the whole day,” he told The Express Tribune.

Maqsood, another attendant, said he usually has breakfast and spend the rest of the day having cookies or water.

Ali, a salesman at one of the cafeterias, said that they try to sell food items at reasonable prices, but rising inflation was forcing them to increase prices to keep the operation profitable.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2014.


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