RAWALPINDI, Nov 12: Cardiac surgeon Hasnat Khan, who rose to world prominence for his reported link to Princess Diana in the mid-1990s, has agreed to head the surgery department of the newly-established Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC).
“Dr Khan has agreed to join RIC and will start surgeries at the institute by the end of December,” said Major General (retired) Dr Azhar Kiani, the chief executive officer of RIC, while talking to Dawn here on Monday.
He said Dr Khan also trained cardiac surgeons at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology.
The RIC chief said the provincial government wanted to bring internationally-famed surgeons and consultants to provide free of cost treatment to the patients at RIC. “I visited United Kingdom last month and managed to get Dr Khan agree to join the RIC,” he said.
Dr Khan will come to RIC with his team of nurses, technicians and other paramedical staff. He said after surgery the most important thing was post-operation care of patients, adding RIC would soon upgrade its high dependency unit. He said Dr Khan’s team would also train the local staff on how to care the post-operative patients.
“Dr Khan is coming to Pakistan for good but his team will remain here for only three months to train the local staff on the international standards of pre- and post-operation care,” he said.
Dr Kiani said the government had made all arrangements to start angiography and angioplasty at RIC from the last week of November.
The machinery has arrived in Karachi and will soon be transported to Rawalpindi.
Dr Kiani, who is also former commandant of the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), said the installation of machinery and equipment would improve the services at the emergency department, intensive care unit and operation theatre of the institute.
He said RIC would be the first public sector hospital to offer best services to the patients in the northern parts of the country from Jhelum to Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are committed to hiring the services of doctors and other paramedical staff purely on merit without any political or government pressure. I will meet Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif soon to persuade him to allocate sufficient funds for the smooth functioning of the hospital,” he added.
It may be mentioned that RIC was completed in August at a cost of Rs2.6 billion. The provincial government appointed 69 doctors to start its outdoor patients department. However, the angiography and angioplasty services and cardiac surgeries are yet to be launched.
The 270-bed RIC project was approved in October 2009 and the construction work started in June 2010. While inaugurating the construction work, the chief minister had promised that the project would be ready within a year but due to the slow pace of work it could not be completed within the deadline.