PESHAWAR: The government has planned to establish burns units at all divisional hospitals of the province to treat patients locally and refer the critical ones to the Burns, Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery Centre at the Hayatabad Medical Complex.

The centre is likely to begin operation within a month.

“Around 80 per cent burns are curable locally if patients reach hospitals on time and therefore, the health department has decided to establish 20-bedded burns wards at all divisional headquarters hospitals where patients could be provided prompt treatment,” Prof Mohammad Tahir, head of the Plastic Surgery Department at the Hayatabad Medical Complex, told Dawn.

Health secretary Abid Majeed had assured the Peshawar High Court earlier this year that units would be set up to ensure rapid healthcare to the patients and avoid complications.

Prof Tahir said the units would be connected with the HMC Burns, Trauma Centre and Reconstructive Surgery Centre, where their patients would be examined via video link.

HMC to open centre for critical cases next month

He said the facilities would be provided at the divisional hospitals in Kohat, Bannu, Swat, Mardan, Abbottabad and DI Khan and that every burns unit would cost Rs200-Rs300 million.

The HMC official said in case of complications, the patients with acid and electric burns would be sent to his hospital for specialised treatment.

Slated to become operational in the middle of August, the 120-bedded centre will have 350 staff members, including 14 plastic surgeons, and will treat people with fresh burns and complication free of charge besides offering cosmetic surgical services.

The centre consisting of a basement and two floors will have 50 beds for fresh burns cases, 10 for plastic surgery-related ones and 60 for post-burns complications, road traffic accidents, cleft lip burns defects and deformities created from cancer treatment and will cover the entire province, said Prof Tahir tasked with overseeing the centre’s construction.

Prof Tahir said work on the centre had begun in 2008 but suffered delays due to the unavailability of funds until the former chief secretary approached the USAID, which pledged Rs1.7 billion for the structure’s construction.

“Now, we have completed 90 per cent civil work and have completed interviews and tests for the staff’s appointment. The letters of appointment will be issued to the selected staff members within a month. We are also purchasing Rs600 million equipment for the facility through the USAID fund,” he said.

The HMC official said the government had provided Rs450 million for staff salary, electricity bills and medicine purchase for the current year with a promise for the regular money supply for the centre.

“To run the centre effectively, we have planned to establish a trust on the pattern of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust to ensure smooth treatment of the people through donations already pledged by many organisations and industrialists.

“We have also decided to begin institution-based practice at the Burns, Trauma Centre, where the paying patients will be examined in the evening. It will also help us generate funds for the treatment of poor patients,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2018

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