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New filter clinic to reduce burden on Pims emergency

New filter clinic to reduce burden on Pims emergency

Although the decision to build a filter clinic in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) parking area was initially met with criticism, detractors have fallen silent since the new building was constructed.

The building is not only well-planned and well-constructed, but the clinic is expected to reduce 60 to 70pc of the burden on the hospital’s emergency wing. However, the hospital’s management is still waiting on Maryam Nawaz, the prime minister’s daughter, to give a date for the building’s formal inauguration.

Pims is the only public sector hospital in the city with a proper parking area, and the critics of the plan to build a clinic there were of the view that the building would make it difficult for people to park within the hospital’s boundary walls. They said people would start parking on the main road, which could cause traffic congestion, like it has at the Polyclinic and Capital hospitals.

Pims, which was constructed in the late 80s, has always had parking arrangements and even as a helipad. Although over 6,000 patients visit the outpatient department daily, a traffic jam in the area has never been observed.

Critics also said the project began without tender or a PC-1, while labourers were seen digging in the parking area in front of the emergency department in January. They also said there wasn’t a strong foundation for the building, which would make it impossible to construct a second storey.

However, Pims Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Akram claimed a PC-1 was not required for the building because it was constructed using donations from philanthropists, health organisations and physicians.

Dr Akram said that around 2,000 patients visit the emergency department daily, which has led to a shortage of beds and even chairs for patients. A significant number of patients are discharged from emergency after a check-up due to the minor nature of their complaints. He said this way, such patients could be discharged by the filter clinic, which would decrease the load on the emergency ward.

Dawn’s visit to the new building found it to be well-equipped, and the clinic does not feel suffocating the way the emergency department can. The high ceiling also lowers the chances of heat coming from the rooftop.

Pims media coordinator Dr Waseem Khawaja said there is a casualty medical officer (CMO) and postgraduates’ room, an X-ray room, an ECG and ultrasound room, a storage room, a resuscitate/emergency room, male and female wards with 10 beds each, a nursing stockroom, a laboratory collection point and an administrator’s office.

“It was decided that the pharmacy and patient registration counter should be near the filter clinic entrance. In the middle of the hall, there is the nursing counter, and nurses will provide injections and other services, such as dressing wounds,” Dr Khawaja said.

“There will be seating arrangements for patients and their attendants. In addition, 12 two ton air conditioners have been fixed in the clinic, and two LEDs were placed in the clinic hall to ensure that attendants don’t get bored,” he added.

“As many as 30 nebulisers have been fixed in case of allergies, asthma, chest infections or any other problems. The filter clinic will reduce 60 to 70pc of the load on the emergency department, which has 53 beds.”

Another doctor at the clinic said that although the filter clinic is a good step, it will require around 150 employees, such as a CMO, postgraduates, nurses, dispensers, ECG technicians, ward attendants, guards, cleaners and so on. He said this would be another burden on Pims, which already has nearly 600 vacant posts.

“The hospital was made in 1986, and since then a new hospital hasn’t been constructed in the capital, because of which the load on Pims has increased manifold. Influx from outside the city has also increased,” the doctor said.

He said since the metro bus service began, the number of patients from Rawalpindi had increased.

“At the time of the inaugural ceremony, we will demand from Maryam Nawaz and Capital Administration Minister Tariq Fazal Chaudhry that additional posts be created for Pims,” he said.

“A few days ago, relatives of a former prime minister visited the Pims emergency department because of an accident and expressed annoyance because of the lack of seats and stretchers available. I told them, ‘If you had constructed a new hospital in the city, you wouldn’t be facing problems’,” he added.

“It was decided that the filter clinic would be inaugurated on March 23, but the project was delayed as the rainwater started leaking from the roof and the work didn’t meet expectations. However, the building has finally been completed and all the deficiencies have been removed.”

Pims spokesperson Dr Ayesha Isani told Dawn that the clinic’s construction cost nearly Rs20 million, which was connected entirely from donations.

“The current administration of the hospital, Dr Fazal-i-Mola, played a key role in collecting donations, and he has said that he can arrange much more funding through donations to construct a three storey building for the OPD and other uses,” she said.

Responding to a question, Dr Isani said the building has been completed but it has been decided that Ms Nawaz, who has taken an interest in addressing health issues in the city, shall inaugurate the project.

“Hopefully the filter clinic will be inaugurated within a week or two, and it will definitely reduce the burden of patients on the emergency departments,” she said.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2016

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