Giving back: Expat doctors build dialysis centre in Abbottabad

Published: June 3, 2015
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A doctor goes through the medical history sheet of a patient at the hospital. PHOTO: EXPRESS

A doctor goes through the medical history sheet of a patient at the hospital. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Expatriate nephrologists have set up a state-of-the-art dialysis centre in Abbottabad, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, with a promise to treat poor patients for free.

Pakistan Kidney Centre (PKC), which opened last April, has provided much-needed relief to kidney patients living in the Hazara belt, Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan, as previously, their only option was Ayub Medical Complex.

The centre is equipped with the latest dialysis equipment, while the facility is accessible to around 10 million people in the region.

The centre was built by the Pakistan Welfare Society (PWS), a Jeddah-based non-profit organization, with the support of Pakistani expatriates and philanthropists working in Saudi Arabia and other countries. At present, 14 patients are being provided with daily dialysis, which will later be increased to 50 patients-a-day.

Anyone who cannot afford treatment is eligible for free care through a Zakat fund, eligibility for which will be checked using the patient’s residence and an assessment of monthly income. Besides this, the centre also plans to provide free mobile screening facilities in the region.

The 1,039-square-metre centre is along the Karakoram Highway, some five kilometres south of Abbottabad. The land for the Rs100 million project was donated by one of the trustees of the society.

“As Pakistani nephrologists working abroad, we felt it was our responsibility to build a hospital for kidney patients in the area, where people are poor and cannot afford expensive treatment,” PKC founder Khalilur Rehman told The Express Tribune.

Dr Rehman said Rs100 million has already been spent on the project, and another Rs100 million was required to add an operation theatre, intensive care unit (ICU) and a 50-bed inpatient facility under the expansion plan.

PWS further plans to establish clinics in various towns in the region and will soon start working on this, he added.

The non-profit organisation has also signed an agreement with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society to run eye clinics and blood donation campaigns in the region.

Besides the dialysis centre, the society has been providing medical diagnosis, laboratory tests and medicines to needy patients through over 200 free medical camps in Jeddah and other Saudi cities for the last few years.

Till now, the society claims to have provided health services to around 31,000 kidney patients in the expat community in Saudi Arabia.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2015.

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