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KARACHI: 300-bed teaching hospital planned

April 17, 2007

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KARACHI, April 16: A general hospital, along with a 23-bed round-the-clock emergency relief department, being raised through philanthropy of the Memon community based in Pakistan and abroad, would be commissioned in the city in the first quarter of 2008.

The hospital project, Memon Medical Institute (MMI), was launched in 2003 on land measuring 11.5 acres, with some construction on it for the establishment of a trauma centre in scheme 33 of the defunct KDA, acquired through bidding process under the Sindh government’s privatisation commission.

The initiator and supporter of the project -- Memon Health and Education Foundation (MHEF) -- is of the view that the current healthcare services offered in the city are inadequate, while on the other hand high cost of healthcare is prohibitive and unaffordable for the common man.

The donor-funded project, planned to be completed in three stages expectedly by 2010, will finally come up as a 300-bed tertiary care teaching hospital, offering, among other services, 24-hour triage clinic for screening, initial assessment and appropriate referrals, rehabilitation services and diagnostic services via a high tech laboratory for routine and specialised tests.

On Monday, MHEF arranged a facility tour for members of World Memon Organisation (WMO) coming from different countries, prominent personalities and leading doctors and local philanthropists of the Memon community.

At a presentation ceremony relevant to MMI, chairman of MHEF, Peer Mohammad Diwan, said that in December 2003 it had a very limited number of donors with Rs20 million, but during the years things had changed tremendously.

“Our initiatives were high, but we were not to stop and now (we are) in a position to say that in the first phase we will have a soft opening of the health complex with 130 beds in early 2008,” he informed.

He urged community members living abroad to ensure further flow of money to the foundation in the shape of dedications towards establishments of wards, operation theatres, emergency department beds, laboratory departments, cardiology, gynaecology and other departments and by subscribing to slots in the board of governors.

Memon community settled in Pakistan, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UK, USA and Canada has emerged as a potentially strong community in terms of entrepreneurship contributions towards national welfare and academics. Their contributions include establishment of hospitals, maternity homes, orphanages, schools, colleges, industrial homes and other humanitarian services, the gathering was reminded.

Pir Mohammad Kaliya, General Secretary in the Board of Governors, and Professor A. Ghaffar Billoo, Chairman of Medical Advisory Board of the MHEF, noted that like other communities, Memons would also be successful in raising the MMI in a befitting manner as they were more resourceful and had the potential for undertaking good causes.

“We can build a stronger and highly beneficial healthcare facility for poor, ailing people and run it on more liberal grounds, without discrimination of caste, colour, creed or religion,” added Mr Kaliya. Deputy Chairperson of WMO, Shabana A.R. Mussani, appreciated the project and assured her full cooperation. Others who spoke at the presentation ceremony included Haji Abdul Razzaq Yunus, President of WMO, Mohammad Ajaz Saya, Abdul Jabbar Kasim, Ali Mohammad Taba and Shabbir Kassim of MHEF.