Dr Seemin Jamali’s services eulogised on her retirement

Published August 19, 2021
This file photo shows Dr Seemin Jamali. —Photo by Nadir Siddiqui
This file photo shows Dr Seemin Jamali. —Photo by Nadir Siddiqui

KARACHI: Dr Seemin Jamali — the Executive Director of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) — retires on Thursday (today) after 33 years of service.

According to a notification, the health department has allowed Dr Tariq Mahmood, professor of radiology at JPMC, to hold the charge of hospital’s executive director “as a stop gap arrangement after Dr Seemin Jamali’s retirement with effect from Aug 19 till the posting of regular executive director.”

A thorough professional who set a standard in emergency healthcare, Dr Jamali is known for her diligence, discipline and devotion.

According to her colleagues and friends, she always led from the front whether it was managing victims of bomb blasts, targeted killings or looking after patients of pandemic.

“The city of Karachi once badly affected by violence owes a lot to Dr Seemin who saved countless lives in the JPMC’s emergency department by relentlessly working in those testing times,” recalled Dr Mirza Ali Azhar, president of the Pakistan Medical Association-Sindh, adding that she was a ‘trendsetter’ in the public-sector healthcare.

Her personal involvement in each patient, continued struggle for improvement and easy accessibility, he pointed out, was what made her a successful administrator.

“I think most of us would agree that we don’t need to find her. She is there taking calls immediately, monitoring her staff, engaging with patients as well as for the media, providing journalists required information. Her innings is spread over three decades but she successfully managed to sustain her good performance till the end.”

Dr Jamali joined JPMC as a medical officer in 1988 after completing her medical education in Nawabshah and house job at Civil Hospital Karachi.

In 1993, she acquired an advanced degree in public health management (MPHM) from Thailand and was appointed as the in-charge of JPMC’s emergency department in 1995.

Later, she was awarded a scholarship for post-doctoral fellowship in public health policy and injury prevention at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA.

Dr Jamali became the hospital’s joint executive director in 2010 and then executive director after six years. Her achievements included several initiatives launched for the first time in the public sector in Sindh; launch of an emergency care training programme at JPMC, establishment of a morgue and dog-bite treatment centre.

She was on duty the day a bomb blast occurred at the doors of the hospital in 2010, injuring many, including her.

This devastation motivated her to transform the emergency department into a state-of-the-art unit with the help of public-private assistance.

During her service, she received numerous national and international tributes and awards, including Tamgha-e-Imtiaz and Women Achievement Awards.

Asked about her professional challenges, Dr Jamali said: “It was very difficult to prove one’s self in the men’s world. In fact, I will say male hatred has been my biggest obstacle, though there were many who appreciated me. I achieved what I dreamed of because I looked at my job as a labour of love and passion.”

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2021

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