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Free treatment: Civil Hospital`s OT complex faces fund shortage

May 6th, 2010  
KARACHI, May 5 Serving the downtrodden for almost three years now, the Dowites` 78 Operation Theatre Complex at the Civil Hospital Karachi is in desperate need of government and private support in order to continue provision of the free-of-cost quality treatment.

Built three years ago at a cost of Rs300 million, the Dowites` 78 OT Complex has state-of-the-art facilities for cancer, paediatric, eye, general, laparoscopic, colo-rectal and gastrointestinal, gynaecology, ENT, head and neck, facio-maxillary, vascular and plastic surgeries.

The OT complex has 14 well-equipped operation theatres and is being managed by the Dowites` 78 Operation Theatre Welfare Society (DOTS) in collaboration with the CHK`s administration. Last year, a fully-fledged endoscopic and gastrointestinal unit was also opened where all types of endoscopies, gastroscopies and colonoscopies with interventional procedures are available.

The unit also has the facility for an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a technique that combines the use of endoscopy and fluoroscopy to diagnose and treat certain problems of biliary and pancreatic ductal systems. Fifty surgeries are daily performed at the complex.

Speaking to Dawn, Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman, a senior surgeon and the man in charge of the OT complex, said that there was a dire need to develop a sustained and secured system for continued supply of funds.

“The poor doesn`t pay a single penny for any treatment here. But, someone has to pay so that quality service could be delivered. We are looking for help not only from the government, but also from philanthropists in order to maintain the treatment standards and move into other critical areas,” said Dr Rehman.

`A dream comes true`

A dream project of the graduates of the 1978 batch of the Dow Medical College, the OT complex finally opened in September 2007. Its construction was a big effort undertaken by the Dowites` 78, their friends, and philanthropists, from home and abroad, along with contributions from national and international organisations.

Tracing the events that led to the establishment of the OT complex, Dr Rehman said that the motivational force was the people`s misery. “I could never forget an incident which left an undeniable mark on me. There was a girl I was treating for a complicated intestinal problem at the CHK in the 1990s. Her survival chances were grim. Every time his old father came, we used to hand him over a list of medical items required to move on to the next treatment step. While the girl survived, his father died of a heart attack in the process. I discussed the incident with my friends and we agreed that there should be a facility where we can independently take care of all the patients` needs and do not ask relatives for any help as they are already under stress,” he recalled.

At that time, the CHK was facing serious shortage of surgical facilities; operation theatres were in very poor shape and didn`t fill aseptic standards. Thus, the post-operative infection rate and post-operative mortality rate was very high.

Due to the high infection rate, doctors administered and prescribed high doses of antibiotics, which caused not only financial burden on poor patients but the practice also exposed them to secondary infections as regular use of antibiotics suppresses the immune system, according to Dr Rehman.

“The main objective was to do complicated, costly surgeries free of cost in a modern environment. And, we have achieved that,” Dr Rehman said proudly.

Regarding the centre`s needs, he said that support was needed in every area. People could sponsor a surgery and donate medical accessories. “We do organise fund-raising activities for the purpose, but there has to be a constant supply of resources to meet the ever growing list of expenses as we want to maintain our standard and expand our services. Government help is crucial,” Dr Rehman said.

Though the centre has been set up for planned surgeries only, it is now planned to attend to emergencies in case of disaster in the city. “We don`t want to repeat the episode of chaos that happened in the aftermath of the Ashura blast here. Therefore, the CHK administration has made a disaster management plan and our responsibilities have been defined,” Dr Rehman said.

Over 19,500 surgeries in three years

So far, around 19,512 major and minor surgeries have been performed at the OT complex that has modern sterilisation, a dire need at the CHK that annually attends thousands of patients from all over the country.

The OT complex is also serving as a hub of continuing medical education and training and a series of workshops have been held for professional development.

A unique aspect of the OT complex is its eye care centre that covers both medical and surgical aspects of eye care. The facilities include fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, RetCam for evaluation of paediatric retinal problems like cancers of the eyes and problems in premature newborns and electro diagnostic tests.

“Ours is the only centre in Pakistan which has a complete eye care set-up with comprehensive software updates of this kind. Most expensive surgeries of retina in complex cases are routinely performed here. The service is free of charge and can only continue if the government and the community feel the responsibility of sharing the ongoing expenses by their generous donations,” Dr Idrees Adhi said.

It needs to be mentioned here that major projects in the CHK, for instance, the cardiac surgery unit, surgical intensive care unit, the refurbishment of department of obstetric and gynaecology and the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation are shining examples of public-private partnerships.

‘Surgicon 2010’ from 16th

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Society of Surgeons Pakistan, Karachi Chapter is organizing ‘Surgicon 2010’ from January 16 at a local hotel in the city.

“Keeping abreast with recent advances in surgery” is the theme of the two-day conference. The conference will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister Sindh, Qaim

Ali Shah, while President, College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, Professor Zafarullah Chauhdry, will be the guest of honour.

Various workshops have already begun at theĀ OT complex at Civil Hospital KarachiĀ in this regard. The workshops are held on the topics of laparoscopic surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery, endoscopic surgery and ERCP, single port laparoscopic cholecystectomy and SILS.

The organizers have stated that the conference is expected to be attended by almost 100 international and national delegates in addition to 600 registered local participants from Karachi.

The concluding session of the conference will be chaired by Federal Minister and Deputy Convener of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Dr. Farooq Sattar.

Lapses’ at civil hospital on Ashura blast day 
By Faiza Ilyas 
Monday, 04 Jan, 2010

KARACHI, Jan 3: Investigations into the handling of the Ashura blast victims at Civil Hospital Karachi has revealed serious lapses, and has once again brought to light the many inadequacies the emergency section of the CHK has been facing for the past many years.

These chronic shortcomings, according to experts, have remained a major obstacle to saving lives for a long time.

The provincial health department must play its due role to address these issues, besides there is a dire need that the administration carries out a detailed audit of its performance on the day of the blast, they say.

Such an audit report, the experts believe, is crucial to prevent ‘mishaps’ and improve the working of the CHK which is the biggest tertiary care hospital run by the Sindh government.

“I admit many bodies arrived [on the day of the blast] and the ones who were alive but had grim chances of recovery. But, the difficult situation did not abdicate us from our responsibility. There were serious lapses which could have been avoided if we had an efficient contingency plan,” a senior doctor said.

The doctor questioned why so many injured left for other hospitals and the CHK was remained only to collect bodies.

The blast occurred on M.A. Jinnah Road on Dec 28 in the main Muharram procession claimed 43 lives while some 140 other people were wounded in the incident.

Around 25 to 30 doctors handled emergencies at the CHK on the day of the blast.

The CHK, being the nearest hospital to the site of the blast, received the most victims — over 50 injured and 22 bodies were brought to the hospital, while body parts of eight people were also brought to the hospital.

CHK officials claim that only five people were admitted and three of them died during treatment, one was discharged while one is still being treated in the hospital.

Most of the injured after getting first aid went to private hospitals.

The hospital was already on an emergency alert because of Muharram.

No management

One major complaint relating to the Ashura blast victims’ treatment at the emergency department was that there was an acute lack of triage and cases were sent without proper examination to operating theatres (OTs), perhaps, just to avoid public anger who had reached the hospital after incident.

In medical emergencies, triage is a process of prioritising patients according to the severity of their medical condition.

This is crucial in case of a mass emergency in order to save lives which are at most risk.

“The bodies, the injured either with minor or severe wounds as well as body parts, were all coming to the emergency section which was crowded with attendants and volunteers. We could have performed better if only doctors were allowed inside the emergency section,” said one doctor.

“Also, there should be a separate triage area so that only those who are injured can be attended to. Bodies should be sent straight away from the triage area to the mortuary,” said another doctor.

As a result of this problem, at least two bodies were sent to the emergency OTs and one to the OT (operating theatre) complex for surgical procedures, according to sources. Or, perhaps, the patients died while they were on the way to the theatres. It is difficult to say anything for sure in the absence of any accurate record.

A few doctors also complained about shortage of equipment in the department on the blast day.

Delays at OT complex

Due to the lack of triage, four patients, including a boy with multiple fractures, a man with a serious head injury and another person with minor injuries, were sent to the OT complex, although the complex does not offer facilities for orthopaedics and neurosurgeries. While the one with minor injuries did not need to be send to the OT complex in the first place, the sources say.

Besides, the OT complex is meant for planned surgeries only and closes at 2pm.

Consequently, there was a chaos at the complex when patients started arriving there and no doctor was present there to receive them. It took some time to open the locked rooms and relevant doctors could arrive in and treat the critically injured patients.

Of the four patients who were treated at the OT complex, three died at the surgical ICU later.

It needs to be mentioned here that the state-of-the-art OT complex is being run under a public-private partnership.

Contingency plan

Some doctors are of the opinion that the mismanagement witnessed on the blast day could have been avoided if the administration had taken all the stakeholders on board and had prepared a contingency plan for all times.

“The administration makes ad hoc arrangements. What is required is to call a meeting of all departmental heads and prepare a simple, but efficient contingency plan with their inputs. The approved plan must have signatures of all departmental heads on it so that any one of them could be penalised if he or she fails to deliver,” says a doctor.

He further points out that a drill once or twice a year should take place to check the efficiency of the contingency plan.

“The emergency plan discussed and sent to departments for Muharram remained only on paper. No mobile messages or calls were made to doctors for the emergency as had been decided.”

A majority of medical staff whom Dawn spoke to wholeheartedly appreciated the public behaviour, which, they said, was a rare occurrence at the CHK.

“We were under a lot of stress, having thoughts of many bitter experiences in the past when doctors were beaten and furniture was broken by the angry crowds. But, thankfully, no temper was lost,” one doctor said.

List with ‘errors’

Although a week has passed after the incident, the CHK has not yet prepared any report on the details of injuries which were handled on that day, nor has a list of the patients died during treatment been prepared.

“How could you improve if you don’t have the details of the injuries which were handled during an emergency. There has to be a trauma registry,” said another doctor.

Currently, the emergency section has no such system in place for this purpose while higher officials believe the medico legal department is responsible for the job.

The list available with the CHK’s medico-legal officers, however, contains critical “errors”.

For instance, the list shows that only three people, who were admitted to the surgical intensive care unit after operations “died during treatment”.

Information gathered from different sources, however, reveals that the number was higher.

“Besides these three patients, two women died while undergoing an operation in the emergency operating theatres,” said a source.

The women, who died in the emergency operating theatre, were Farzana Kazmi (in her 40s) and Maria (30s). Their names, however, are included in the list with the names of people who were killed in the blast. The list shows PM (post-mortem) numbers with their names which means that the victims were “brought dead”.

“A post-mortem is carried out only when the cause of death is unknown. There is no autopsy of a patient who dies during treatment as the cause of death is in the knowledge of doctors carrying out treatment,” said a CHK MLO.

According to a doctor working in the emergency section on that day, at least three to four people died while they were being treated.

“I saw three to four people dying while being provided first aid in the emergency section. They were badly injured. Perhaps, there were more such deaths,” he said.

Responding to Dawn’s queries, Dr Liaquat Sheikh, the additional medical superintendent at the CHK, said that there was no mismanagement at the CHK on the Ashura blast day and the staff worked most efficiently.

About the detailed list of patients, he said that the medico-legal section was responsible for the job. The CHK did not require such a list.

Regarding the chaos at the OT complex, he said: “An emergency was declared at the hospital for Muharram and any patient could be sent to any department anytime. Everybody was supposed to be prepared for the emergency. Nobody died due to delayed treatment.”

The medical superintendent, he said, would be in office next week and would call a meeting to assess the hospital’s performance on the day.

Giving the reason why so many patients left the hospital, he said it was because of the fact that the government had announced to bear the cost of treatment at private hospitals as well.

Other chronic issues

The foremost chronic issue relates to security at the hospital, especially at the emergency section where about 1,000 people report daily.

It would not take much effort if an arrangement is made with some security agency for an active security cover and staffs is provided with an emergency telephone number for security, doctors suggest.

Besides, there is also a problem of open access; all roads leading to the emergency remain occupied by push-cart vendors and vehicles at all the times. Not only that, the outside area of the emergency department is used for parking purposes, which can be made a triage area, they suggest.

Experts also point to the fact that the CHK must prepare a trauma team comprising specialists to attend to emergencies which should be deputed permanently at the emergency.

“At present, we need to call a specialist from his or her department. The relevant doctor if busy in some other job can take five to 30 minutes to arrive. This delay could prove very risky for the patient,” doctors said, adding that all casualty doctors should be provided with accommodation within or near the hospital area.

Obstacles are also created because of the fact that neither the CHK emergency section nor the hospital has been made with a proper design.

“On the blast day, many patients lying on stretchers got stuck in the crowd and couldn’t immediately be taken to the X-ray and operating rooms and other places. All these facilities should be available inside the emergency section,” said a casualty doctor.

The department must be equipped with facilities to maintain data scientifically, he added.

First hair transplant surgery at CHK

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) recently conducted the province’s first hair transplant surgery at a public-sector hospital. The process lasted six hours.

Civil Hospital Karachi Plastic Surgery Department In-charge Professor Ashraf Ganatara said that Dr Asad Awan performed a successful hair transplant operation for free, along with his team of doctors. He said that 24-year-old Rashid, a resident of Malir, was admitted to the hospital for hair treatment owing to 25 per cent burn injuries.

Dr Awan said that the patient sustained burn injuries after an acid attack. “We have more such cases registered and further surgeries will be conducted soon,” he said. Rashid said that he was grateful to doctors for performing the successful operation.

Hospital waste posing threat to patients’ lives 
By Faiza Ilyas 
Sunday, 13 Sep, 2009

Tests to check contamination at the neurosurgery department operation theatres at the Services Hospital were done before they were opened for procedures. The reports showed very high levels of microbial contamination and declared the theatres unfit for surgeries. -White Star

KARACHI: A dump of clinical waste and a leaking sewer in the middle of two major public-sector hospitals, the Civil Hospital Karachi and the Services Hospital, pose a serious threat to patients, especially to those undergoing surgeries at these health centres. 
Speaking to Dawn, Dr Junaid Ashraf, head of the CHK’s neurosurgery department, and Dr Idrees Edhi said they had approached the medical superintendents of both the hospitals many times in this regard, but no solution had been found yet. 
‘When CHK units were shifted here a few months ago, I sent letters to the CHK medical superintendent, the minister of health and the secretary of health and informed them that the garbage and the leaking sewer are very close to the operation theatres and as they are a major source of environmental contamination, the problem needs to be resolved first before the initiation of any type of surgery at the units,’ said Dr Junaid Ashraf. 
In response, Dr Ashraf was told to perform major surgeries at the CHK’s OT complex, which he refused. 
‘I turned down the suggestion because patients with brain injuries require special care and it would have been unsafe to transfer them from the ward to the OT complex and then back, in a state of unconsciousness, to the ward,’ he reasoned. 
Seeing no response from the authorities, Dr Ashraf finally started surgeries after waiting for 18 days on May 11. About 12 to 15 neurosurgeries are carried out weekly at the department visited by 100 patients daily. While the eye unit is visited by around 200 patients and six operations are carried out daily. The operation theatres of the Services Hospital also exist at the same site. 
No waste disposal system 
It is worth mentioning here that there is no incinerator at the Services Hospital having about 60 patients admitted at a time with 700 to 800 patients reporting daily in the out-patient department. The hospital waste is dumped at a spot within the hospital premises. 
At the same place, where the CHK and Services Hospital share a wall, a small entrance had been created earlier this year to facilitate patients of the civil hospital whose eye and neurology units were shifted to the Services Hospital in order to make way for a trauma centre, which is yet to be launched.
The situation is more troublesome for the CHK patients, many of whom arrive on wheelchairs and stretchers, as they daily pass through this filthy, stinking passage. 
The CHK, the second biggest tertiary care public-sector hospital in the city, has only one incinerator, which, too, often remains inoperative or runs much below its capacity. 
After this reporter’s visit to the site and subsequent calls to the medical superintendents of both the hospitals, a sweeper was posted at the site and the waste littered on the ground was put in a container. However, this has not allayed the doctors’ concern. 
‘The hospital waste, though now in a container, is still a major source of environmental pollution and needs to be removed completely,’ said Dr Edhi. 
The CHK departments will stay at the Services Hospital till the trauma centre becomes functional. 
Culture report 
Tests to check contamination at the neurosurgery department operation theatres at the Services Hospital were done before they were opened for procedures. The reports showed very high levels of microbial contamination and declared the theatres unfit for surgeries. 
When these reports were submitted to the CHK offices, the theatres were subsequently fumigated and their windows sealed. These measures decreased microbial contamination, but doctors argue why the garbage cannot be removed and the sewer cleared. 
When contacted, Dr Aslam Pechuho, the MS of the Services Hospital, said: ‘The Services Hospital had been using the place to dump its clinical waste for a long time. When I came here a container was placed at the spot and now we are ensuring that the garbage is thrown in it. It was basically CHK’s job which had promised to take care of the waste issue before shifting its departments. But they didn’t do anything. The sewer has also got clogged after the CHK carried out the renovation of its departments. A few days ago, we also caught a CHK sweeper dumping waste here.’ 
When asked why the clinical waste dump exists in the hospital, especially at a place where a number of operation theatres exist, he said, his hospital did not have enough resources to buy an incinerator. 
Dr Saeed Qureshi, the MS of the CHK, maintained that many times garbage had been removed, but it reappeared every time. ‘We are thinking of a permanent solution. But no garbage is being thrown from the CHK here. Instead, the Service Hospital’s employees living in the adjoining quarters are doing this.’ 
About the CHK’s half-functioning incinerator, he said the machine was hardly meeting the hospital’s needs, and funds had been allocated to buy another system.

Saturday, March 21, 2009
By our correspondent


Boasting over 70 artists whose works are on display, the ‘Art for Health’ exhibition opened on Friday at the Alliance Francaise de Karachi. The brainchild of Dowites Operation Theatre Welfare Society (DOTS), ‘Art for Health’ hopes to raise money for the DOTS operation theatre at the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) that provides free-of-cost surgeries to patients who cannot afford to pay for it.

Featuring the works of renowned artists such as Baqar Raza, Athar Jamal, Nahid Raza, Amin Gulgee and Mona Naqsh, the paintings on display will be auctioned on April 11, 2009 at the Marriott. “We need money for the maintenance and upkeep of the theatre,” said Shafiq-ur-Rehman, professor of sugery at Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), and one of the main organisers of the charity auction. “So it was fitting to raise money this way since there are so many patrons of arts in the country who are philanthropists as well.”

Each painting, sculpture and jewellery pieces have a minimum price of Rs50,000, but are in a league of their own, given the remarkable detailing and interesting choice of colours.

Particularly noteworthy are paintings by Shahla Rehman and Mohammad Ali Bhukhari – the latter’s oil-on-canvas collage comprising calligraphic inscriptions coupled with various landscapes is breathtakingly beautiful and inspirational.

“Besides the pieces for auction, some other works are up for immediate sale as well,” said Rehman. The exhibition will remain open today from 11.30 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.

KARACHI: OT complex at Civil Hospital opens today

By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 12: The recently commissioned operation theatre complex at the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) is to be opened to the general public on Thursday, Prof Shafiqur Rehman, the coordinator of the project, said on Wednesday.

He told Dawn that the project had been launched by the old students of the Dow Medical College in 2003. The first case to be brought to the OT for surgery on Thursday would be a stomach-cancer patient at present admitted to the general surgery department of the hospital, he said.

Surgeries would be performed simultaneously at all the 14 theatres of the complex in six-weeks, he added.

Prof Rehman stated that in the first phase, stretched over a period of two weeks, at least three old operation theatres at the CHK would be abandoned.

“We have planned to house the old OT facilities attached with the general surgery, ENT, eye, paediatric, vascular, plastic, gynaecology and endoscopic surgery departments within the new complex during the period,” he said, adding that one, two or three theatres would be shifted after every two weeks from the CHK.

The DMC students belonging to the 1978 batch had formed a group to contribute to the launching of the OT Complex, which includes a 21-bed recovery area and the staff and doctor rooms.

The complex remained non-functional for a long period for want of adequate power supply. It was opened on June 28 this year by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad after its completion at a cost of Rs150 million, raised through donations from Dowites, philanthropists and several welfare organisations.

Prof Rehman said the complex now had an exclusive power supply from the KESC whereas arrangements for a back-up system had been made through hired generators. “We are also in the process of purchasing a generator for the complex to ensure a smooth and round-the clock power supply,” he said.

It is learnt that the place and structure of the theatres being shifted to the new complex would be utilised for the establishment of a clinical laboratory and medical ICU, besides extension of the existing wards and establishment of new wards.

The complex has a facility for telemedicine and live surgical performance available within the OT theatre enabling the trainees and medical students to watch surgeries live while sitting in a well-furnished audio-video conference centre in the complex.

June 28, 2007 
Jamadi-us-Sani 12, 1428

KARACHI: CHK gets Rs150 million OT complex

By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, June 27: An international standard operation theatre complex was inaugurated at the Civil Hospital Karachi on Wednesday. The governor of Sindh, Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad Khan, performed the ceremony while promising a regular Rs120 million grant to meet almost half the expenditures incurred annually by the facility.

Comprising 14 operation theatres, the project cost approximately Rs150 million that were generated over four years by the Dowites-78 Operation Theatre Welfare Society (Dots). Generous donations were made by former students of the Dow Medical College (DMC), various philanthropists, welfare bodies and the government of Sindh.

Governor Ibad commented that having laid the project’s foundation stone in 2003, he was proud to now be inaugurating it formally.

He also referred to the recent rain-related havoc in Karachi and said that his government and the city government had helped the KESC repair damage that included 350 downed electricity poles and wires broken in about 700 places. The governor added that the situation had resumed normality in 95 per cent of the city.

Dots general-secretary, Prof Shafiq ur Rehman, who is considered the driving force behind the operation theatre project, said that in addition to other facilities, the complex has a state-of-the-art 24-bed area for patients convalescing after surgery. He added that patients would not be charged for any services or medicines administered at the complex. He and Dr Shaikh Minhajuddin, the president of Dots, pointed out that the challenging journey of running the complex efficiently now lay ahead.

Speaking on behalf of her family, which made significant donations, Begum Bilquis Edhi expressed the hope that Karachi’s poor, as well as others coming to the Civil Hospital from afar, would benefit from the new OT complex.

Meanwhile, the patron of Dots, the chief justice of Sindh Justice Sabeeh-uddin Ahmed said that Dowites of 1978 had lived up to the peoples’ expectations and should be emulated, while the state and the civil society must encourage those who undertake such ventures.

KARACHI: OT complex at CHK needs more funds to go functional

By Mukhtar Alam

KARACHI, Sept 25 2006: An operation theatre complex project, launched by the old students of the Dow Medical College in June 2003 at Civil Hospital Karachi, needs the last philanthropic push for going functional.

Ninety per cent of the complex has been completed and the last challenge, the purchase and installation of top-of-the-line equipment and machinery is also underway.

There is a shortfall of Rs30 million to the project originally estimated to cost Rs150 million, while funds will also bee needed for the recurring expenditures and purchase of medicines on regular basis so that patients could be given totally a cost free treatment.

It were the old students of the Dow Medical College belonging to the batch of 78, who envisioned a state-of-the-art operation theatre complex to provide the poor an excellence driven surgical environment for their relief.

Once the complex comprising 14 theatres with all the complementing areas like 16 bedded recovery, sterilized corridors, dirty linen storage and disposal, autoclave, wet and dirty storage, staff and doctor rooms, is completed in all respect, the existing operation theatres, including those of surgical, ophthalmology, eye, plastic surgery, paediatrics and other department will seize to function.

As per plan and understanding with the authorities concerned, the existing theatres will be wound up while the staff deployed there and medicines supplied to the departments would be transferred to the new OT complex, says Prof Shafiq-ur-Rehman, coordinator of Dowites 78- OT complex project. “Now we need Rs30 million to be raised through philanthropy and a similar amount in the shape of endowments, zakat or donations to have a smooth take off of the project,” he said.

Appreciating the efforts and achievements of the group, the chief justice of Sindh, Justice Sabiehuddin Ahmad, who is also the patron-in-chief of the Dowites 78 Operation Theatre Welfare Society (DOTS), said that such endeavours surely meant a lot to the poor patients for whom illness was perhaps like an injustice for which, no one could be blamed.

“My utmost priority in this regard is therefore, to ask as many people to come forward and help the Dowites save and cure those who have perhaps no one else to turn to,” he stated in a DOTS’ brochure.

The operation theatres of the century-old civil hospital have been facing a number of problems due to over-work, financial and other developmental constraints, which forced about 35 per cent of the patients needing surgery to go elsewhere.

Almost 100 per cent patients seeking health relief from the civil hospital belonged to the lower middle and low income groups, and hence could not afford to get surgical health relief from private sector, which was exorbitantly expansive, said a health professional.

While showing different facilities developed on the two new floors added to the old building of surgical wards, Prof Shafiq recalled the progress and said that charity began at home as the Dowites 78 started to collect funds, first amongst themselves and then from other Dowites and later from the population at large and then response was enthralling.

The infrastructure of 14 operation theatres and central sterile supply department, including two autoclaves, is ready to function while two lifts have been installed. “We are also looking for a third lift to avoid shifting of patients from the ICU to the complex on stretchers,” Prof Shafiq added.

Moreover, a floor comprising auditorium, day-care wards and endoscopies suite have been added. “Now we need separate electricity supply for the complex, but the progress with the KESC on the issue has been slow,” he noted saying that efforts are also being made to have a 400 KVA generator as a backup support.

From where the funds required would come now is a big question before the DOTS workers as they have almost exhausted a fund of over Rs120 million on the complex.

“Many people have joined us in our efforts so far, even from the most unexpected places all over the world, and we are hopeful that more would come forward,” says a dedicated worker at the project, showing a recently developed poster asking contributions from people.

Prof Shafiq said that the President of Pakistan had been requested to allocate some of his precious times for the inauguration of the befitting and one of the largest operation theatre facilities in the country where about 25,000 surgeries would be undertaken annually.

October 8, 2005 
Ramazan 3, 1426

KARACHI: Civil hospital short of resources

KARACHI, Oct 7: The Civil Hospital Karachi is in dire need of major repair, and a master plan, to bring an end to persisting problems like water shortage, sanitation, electricity failure, etc.

The hospital is surviving on obsolete and incapacious infrastructure of power, water supply and sewerage.

Such problems have become a routine multiplying the sufferings of poor patients, said the Medical Superintendent CHK, Dr Kaleem Butt, while talking to journalists at his office on Friday.

He said the CHK was established as a 250-bed district level hospital in 1898. It’s spread over 100,000 sq-ft. It was upgraded to the status of a teaching hospital in 1945 and has 1,728 beds at present.

The hospital has 3,277 employees including 125 consultants, 590 doctors, 820 house officers, 405 nursing staff, etc.

However, there has always remained a shortage of staff there, as no fresh appointments were made due to a ban on employment during the last 11-12 years, he told.

The average daily admission of patients is about 120, daily visits to the OPD are about 5,000, to the emergency are 1,000, indoor patients (treated) are 1,100, and the number of operations done daily are from 80 to 100. The bed occupancy rate is 65 per cent, turnover per bed is 23 patients, and the number of beds per doctor is three, he mentioned.

Dr Butt said resources at the CHK were needed according to the increasing number of patients.

Provision of water and electricity, and the sewerage system are major problems at the hospital. The infrastructure being almost over 100 years old, has never been repaired nor improved, resulting in poor hygienic conditions all over the hospital, he said.

Speaking about improvements at the hospital, the MS said that in the first stage, it had been decided to improve the casualty department. An additional 20 beds would be provided to the department.

Usually, in mass casualties, the hospital is unable to admit a huge number of patients, however, after the addition, the strength beds at the casualty department would rise to 55, he said, adding that old beds or their mattress would also be replaced, he told.

He said provision of medicines and investigation would be ensured to each and every patient in wards, emergency and the OPDs.

“We have maintained a separate store, which has all required medicines for about 200 patients to meet any grave emergency.

The problem of shortage of staff in the night shift at the casualty department was also being solved, Dr Butt said, adding that three doctors had been deputed to the emergency from various OPDs.

The secretary health has also assured to provide some doctors for the night shift at the casualty department. “This will redress complaints regarding non-availability of more doctors in the said shift,” he added.

Regarding cleanliness at the hospital, he said there were 320 posts for sweepers, but only 150-160 of them were working at the hospital. The second reason was shortage of water at the hospital, he said.—PPI


Various pieces of art work donated by renowned artists of Pakistan are displayed in our Gallery. Visit our link on Facebook to purchase their awestruck artistic work and become a part of this benevolent activity.
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