HYDERABAD: Sindh Chief Secretary (CS) Mumtaz Ali Shah on Friday issued a notification asking a newly-formed committee for Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Institute of Psychiatry (SCJIP) Hyderabad to prepare draft legislation for an independent and autonomous institute, affiliated with Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) Jamshoro within two months.
The 10-member committee consisted of LUMHS Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Bikha Ram as convener and nine members, including Sindh Mental Health Authority (SMHA) chairman Dr Karim Khowaja, works and services department secretary, SCJIP medical superintendent, Prof Dr Haroon, Dr Aijaz Khanzada, Dr Jamil Junejo, Prof Dr Moin Ahmed Ansari, LUMHS registrar Dr Murtaza Dayo and any co-opted member.
It (committee) would prepare the draft legislation and furnish a feasibility report with complete formalities within two months.
“We want to make this [a] state of the art, autonomous and international institute to keep it intact for the next 200 years as it [has existed] for over 150 years.
“It is also a national heritage of Sindh. It should be affiliated with LUMHS Jamshoro for educational purposes, but it must be autonomous. Top priority must be given to patients who are suffering from mental illnesses,” SMHA chairman Dr Karim Khowaja said while talking to Dawn.
A meeting was held at the Sindh Secretariat in Karachi on April 12 chaired by the CS where a number of decisions were taken to address the issues being faced by the only major mental health facility in Sindh and a 10-member committee was formed.
Health, works and services secretaries would look into all the issues explained by Dr Jamil Junejo. Dr Junejo said that in 2004, the health department allotted a 4,125 square-yard plot for construction of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP)’s Hyderabad regional centre within the premises of this facility.
In 2009, a cold chain divisional store for the Extended Programme on Immunisation (EPI) was permitted temporarily to work in the old dining hall of the institute.
In the past, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working for mental health of patients succeeded to get a 60-bedded ward and within a few years, this NGO handed over the project to another one without consent of the government.
In 2018, a bungalow of the SCJIP medical superintendent (MS) was allotted to the office of Lady Health Worker Programme for Family Planning and Primary Healthcare.
Later, the provincial health department and Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Jan 2.
The MoU was inked to hand over the entire first floor of under-construction and new out-patient department (OPD) block of the institute as ANF would provide free treatment and rehabilitation services to drug addicts.
He said patients were rising day by day as there were over 33,500 OPD and follow-up OPD patients in 2009 while they rose to over 77,000 in 2018.
He also shared issues of renovation of entire building, staff shortage, privileges and others.
All participants suggested that the institute could be raised as the centre of excellence and satellite centres could be built in various districts of Sindh on the model of National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD).
The CS assured the SCJIP medical superintendent of his full support to develop the institute as per modern requirements and world-class facilities.
Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2019