KARACHI, Nov 7: The Aga Khan University (AKU) will be adding 100 more beds to its hospital in the next five years, under an expansion programme aimed at enhancing its activities and services in both the urban and rural areas of the country.

This was stated by president of the AKU, Firoz Rasul, during an interaction with newsmen on Tuesday. At present the university hospital has 542 beds, including 200 in its general ward.

Mr Rasul said that though the university did not possess enough space for any physical structure at its existing campus on Stadium Road, efforts were being made to increase the number of beds there, in addition to get some satellite health care facilities operational within a period of next five years.

He said that works on the arts and science campus of the AKU in the education city on the outskirts of Karachi would start as soon as the land was acquired from the Sindh government.

He said that the AKU was an institution open to all on merit and no discrimination was observed at any stage either it was admissions and training in the academic programmes or extension of treatment to patients in its hospital.

At the hospital we accept every case as unique one and individual, instead of maintaining any quota for any quarter, he added, saying that the only goal of the management was to have the AKU as an institution of international repute and standard and remain operational as national role model for other institutions related to medical education and healthcare.

He said that funds available with the university in the shape of endowments and Zakat or by other means were required to be spent in a judicious manner. Fund at our disposal is not an open pool and is meant for the promotion of human welfare, dissemination of knowledge and provision of instruction, training, research and services in health sciences, education and other disciplines in the country, he remarked.

He mentioned that despite all its eagerness the varsity was not in a position to start some educational or medical facilities in any other city of Pakistan.

Our resources are limited and we will like to concentrate more on our existing programmes in Karachi, while expanding interactions with other standard institutions of health and education in the city.

He agreed with a questioner that despite passage of so many years of its existence, the university could not fully make the masses feel that AKU was their own institution.

There still lies challenge before us to change the perceptions and opinion of people about the AKU, he added, saying that the AKU had its own philosophy and guidance from its chancellor and it never acted as part of the government but contributed to what it felt best for the country and its population.

Mr Rasul said that it was a fact that a significant portion of the AKU graduates went abroad for further excellence in their educational carrier, but not all of them returned back to the country, which had been a source of concern for the university as well.

In order to ensure that its graduates serve Pakistan on completion of their education, now we are contemplating to make it mandatory for the medical students to serve within the country for a specific period of time on completion of their MBBS or postgraduate education, he added.

The medical director and associate dean, clinical affairs, of AKU, Dr Farhat Abbas, manager of social welfare programme, Kabir Akbar Ali and Director Public Affairs Talaat Tyabji assisted the AKU president who is new on the post.

Updated Nov 08, 2006 12:00am

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