KARACHI: The Sindh government-run National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) took a major step to make the Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases (KIHD) one of its satellite centres when it opened a chest pain unit on its premises on Friday.
The move was in line with the last month’s announcement by Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab, who had said that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation-run KIHD would start functioning as a satellite centre of the NICVD from Dec 25.
However, almost all opposition parties, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Jamaat-i-Islami, Pak Sarzameen Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, had opposed the plan and termed it an attempt by the Pakistan Peoples Party government to snatch health facilities of the KMC. They had vowed to use all legal and democratic means against the move.
Murtaza Wahab inaugurates chest pain unit at KIHD
The provincial government has already taken back the health and education functions from the local government organisations under the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Act 2021.
Speaking to Dawn, an official of the NICVD said that it’s the first step to take over the KIHD. “The KIHD doesn’t have an outpatient department for children. The government plan is to provide all heart-related facilities to patients free of cost.”
Wahab inaugurates new unit
The inaugural ceremony of the chest pain unit was performed by Administrator Wahab, who is also the spokesperson for the provincial government and chief minister’s law adviser.
At the ceremony, Mr Wahab said: “I had a dream that KIHD in Federal B. Area becomes a centre for NICVD so that residents of districts Central and East could also be provided modern cardiac care facilities near their area of residence, free of cost.”
He appreciated services of NICVD and said it was a flagship programme of the Sindh government through which state-of-the-art healthcare facilities were being extended to the entire province, including the remotest areas such as Mithi and Tharparkar.
“Now people from not only entire Pakistan, including Balochistan, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, but also from abroad are arriving at the NICVD Karachi and Sukkur to avail top of the line cardiac-care facilities,” he claimed.
Sharing the health facility’s progress in recent years, NICVD Executive Director Prof Nadeem Qamar said over 675,604 patients had been examined at chest pain units over the last five years. Of them, 246,228 were cardiac patients and 14,331 people had heart attacks, whose lives were saved in time by providing them proper medication.
17th facility in Karachi
He said that the chest pain unit at the KIHD was 17th facility of the NICVD in Karachi. He said one each unit had been set up in Tando Bago, Ghotki, Jacobabad, Umerkot and Tando Allahyar. “The units are functional and providing state-of-the-art cardiac care and treatment to patients at their doorstep totally free of cost.”
“When a patient comes to our health facility, we ensure that each patient gets the required treatment. This is the most successful healthcare programme across the world, which has saved countless lives and helped thousands of people to live a healthy life,” he said.
The NICVD, he said, in collaboration with the Sindh government was providing free-of-cost quality care at its satellite centres and chest pain units in the province.
“From a hospital, NICVD has been transformed into a large network in a short span of five years. Today, it has 10 fully fledged hospitals and 22 chest pain units in the province,” he said.
Prof Riffat Sultana, the KIHD executive director, Dr Zair Hussain heading emergency services at NICVD, senior cardiologists and local government representatives also attended the event.
Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2021