ISLAMABAD, Aug 22: The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) has failed to make the liver transplant centre at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) functional after its closure following the death of a patient in May 2012.

The centre was opened in June 2011 when the office of the prime minister provided a financial grant of Rs200 million. However, soon after the first liver transplant went wrong, the centre was closed.

A senior official at Pims while talking to Dawn said even in June this year the hospital’s management was actively pursuing to activate the centre.

“A team of doctors in India was also engaged for conducting a liver transplant surgery at Pims,” said the official.

“But since the Indian Dr Subhash Gupta was invited to Pims, our government has not shown any willingness to restart the centre,” added the official.

After the formation of the PML-N government, the issue of liver transplant is not being even discussed at any platform, he added.

“CADD has also not shown any interest in restarting the liver transplant centre,” added a physician on the condition of anonymity. He said a request by the Pims administration for restarting the transplant initiative after making all the facilities available and allocation of funds was pending with CADD.

“Besides funds, Pims also has no trained staff and consultants to make the centre operational,” insisted the physician. Established at a cost of Rs200 million, the Centre for Liver Disease and Organ Transplant does not even have a transplant hepatologist.

A consultant doctor said an experienced hepatologist closely worked with the transplant surgeons in the selection and care of liver transplant recipients and donors.

Even the Intensive Care Unit meant for the liver transplant has poor arrangements.

Since the transplant patients need proper oxygen, a sophisticated air handling system is an essential part of the ICU, said the physician who had discussed the facilities the transplant facility would need with the government.

He maintained that a private hospital had also started a liver transplant centre on the pattern of Pims.

“They have managed to conduct successful liver transplant of over 25 patients by Dr Fasial Saud Dar, a Pakistani physician of British origin, and his team,” said the consultant.

He said the team of liver transplant centre at the private hospital, including its nurses and junior medical staff, were trained in India.

“On the other hand, Pims is also not willing to benefit from the Pakistani physicians conducting successful liver surgeries at the private hospital,” he added.

When contacted, Pims spokesman refused to comment saying the matter was related to CAD.

Despite repeated attempts, the spokesman and secretary CADD Sharif Shegan was not available to comment on the failure of the government to reopen the liver transplant centre at Pims.

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