ISLAMABAD, Sept 25: Former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani left behind hopes that the plan to expand the Pakistan Institute of Medical Science (Pims) are realised.
“On instructions from the Presidency, he ordered that a committee be formed to look into the funding problems of the plan. It is set to start work within two weeks,” a senior official of the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) told Dawn on Monday.
Pims’ management had recently informed the Prime Minister’s Secretariat that the healthcare system of the capital city of 1.8 million people would be severely strained if the premier hospital was not expanded on time. With its present facilities, Pims would not be able to cope with the demands on it beyond 2020, he said.
Dr Sohail Siddique represents the Presidency in the committee, which has secretaries of the ministries of finance and CAD, an official of the Planning Commission officer and Pims executive director as its members.
Pims has been serving the citizens of Islamabad and of Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the last 26 years. Former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had initiated its expansion in 2007. It was abandoned by the succeeding PPP-led government in 2008 – only to pick it up now.
Shaukat Aziz government’s plan called for raising a 16-storey, 500-bed facility in the Pims vast ground at a cost of Rs2.3 billion and in three years.
“Now the plan is to have an independent emergency building as well as a multi-storey health tower,” said an official of the Pims administration.
According to him, the Pims management proposes to charge private patients for major medical procedures and treatment as privately-run hospitals do in the city. That ‘hospital business model’ is being designed “to generate much needed funds,” he explained.
The official said that despite the substantial financial support from the government, Pims had always been facing deficit because of the rising operational cost.
The federal government allocated Rs1.856 billion for Pims in its 2011-12 budget – a nominal increase in the previous year’s Rs1.8 billion.Dawn.