RAWALPINDI: The federal government is planning on establishing a new hospital in the garrison city in order to decrease the patient-load in the other three government-run hospitals.

Federal Minister for National Health Services Aamir Mehmood Kiani visited Rawalpindi on Wednesday to inspect a Punjab Transport Authority (PTA) site on Peshawar Mor, near Siham.

The minister was accompanied by Commissioner Jodat Ayaz and Deputy Commissioner Umar Jehangir. He is reported to have liked the site for the hospital.

A press statement quotes Commissioner Ayaz as saying that the government is planning on establishing a hospital in the garrison city for which the PTA land is considered ideal.

A senior district administration official told Dawn the local administration wants to use the 33 kanals of land for health purposes and that the site’s location is ideal for a hospital.

He said the land had been retrieved from Varan Tours, which had occupied PTA’s bus depot illegally for the last 15 years.

He added that there are no government-run hospitals in the Cantt areas except the Cantonment General Hospital which cannot cater to the requirements of the area and people have to go to the other three government hospitals in the city.

Some 8,000 or 10,000 patients visit Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH), Holy Family Hospital (HFH) and District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital which together hold the capacity for 2,122 beds.

HFH has 920 beds, BBH has 702 and DHQ Hospital has 500.

A mother and child hospital with 400 beds has been under construction on the Asghar Mall Road the last decade. Work on the hospital worth Rs2.5 billion was inaugurated by former prime minister Shaukat Aziz in 2006 but the project was halted after the PML-N formed the government in Punjab in 2008. Work is yet to be resumed.

A nursing school was also to be established as well as a chest disease centre for T.B and breast cancer patients.

“There is need for new hospitals on Adiala Road, Peshawar Road and Jhelum Road to cater to patients from surrounding areas,” an HFH doctor told Dawn.

BBH Medical Superintendent Dr Tariq Niazi said the new hospital will ease the burden of the three other hospitals and that doctors will be able to give patients more attention.

HFH Medical Superintendent Dr Shahzad Ahmed said more mother and child hospitals will relieve burden on gynae wards in other hospitals.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2018

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