KARACHI, May 15: A 50-bed burns centre, the largest in the country, at the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), with two modern operation theatres, would be completed by the end of June, 2002 with an estimated cost of Rs50 million. This was stated by chairman Friends of Burns Centre, Abdullah Feroz, while briefing newsmen about the ongoing project, in Karachi on Wednesday. He said the construction of the centre would not only prove to be an example for public-private partnership but also enhance the trust between government and private sectors. He said the ever-growing population of the city, enhanced investment climate and industrial proliferation had necessitated the spacious burns centre at CHK,

“The cost of the treatment of a burns victim is overwhelming. Four to five thousand rupees are needed daily which is beyond the capacity of a common man. Once the centre becomes operational, we will not charge even a single rupee from burns victims”, he said.

He further said: We are seeking to bring a revolution in the health sector of Pakistan with active cooperation between the public and the private sectors, which will help mitigate the sufferings of a large segment of the country’s population.”

He said that fortunately in Karachi a large number of philanthropists were eager to help the cause to serve the ailing humanity without any access to basic health facilities.

Abdullah Feroz assured that no compromise would be made on quality of the latest equipments soon to be installed at the centre as, he said, the poor also deserved the same quality of treatment usually reserved for the rich.

He said the Sindh government had given Rs8 million to the CHK for the construction of the centre, and the most of the amount had been utilized for the purchase of necessary equipments.

To a question, he said the centre would have two most modern operation theatres besides a modern skin bank, a pathological laboratory and a library for doctors.

He informed that in the second phase of the construction, an OPD, a medical store and a library for doctors would be built. About the availability of specialists for the new centre, he said that in addition to those already hired, the Aga Khan University (AKU) had been approached to extend the services of their experts.

Speaking on the occasion, medical superintendent CHK, Dr Naushad Sheikh said the centre would be managed jointly by the Civil Hospital and the Friends of the Burns Centre. He added that after the completion of the centre, a committee comprising public and private representatives would be constituted for its overall management.

“There is absolutely no dearth of finance as philanthropists are ready to pay generously for the smooth running of the centre”, he said.

Jimmy Engineer, Arjuman A. Kazi and Sadaf Pervez Bhatti were among those present on the occasion.—PPI/APP