What About Health Care?

icrc.gifYesterday I had to visit PIMS (Pakistan’s Institute of Medical Sciences). From a cursory look I was satisfied by the level of cleanliness and the response of staff. However, I did realise that PIMS is now getting crowded by patients, and probably in a few years would not be able to cater to much of Islamabad’s Health and Emergency needs. Another problem lies with the expenditure related to health facilities in Islamabad. Although you can get a prompt emergency check up for Rs 5 registration charges, but the medicines are very expensive, and I am wondering how the poor manage it all. I was quite impressed by the new public hospital system in Punjab especially Lahore that caters to the poor by providing free medical check up and medicines to the needy. Perhaps some one from Lahore can shed more light on how it actually works, but Islamabad lacks that.

I am not sure with the current government policies should we say that the public healthcare system in Pakistan exists or not. But yes, there are some private hospitals which are doing a very good job. So if you have the money, just don’t worry. I have been to Shifa International in Islamabad. They are really good. But I would not say they give you a good value for your money.

You can get all the medical assistance that you may need. Professionally speaking I might find objections as far as the cleaning is regarded, even in some of the better hospitals or clinics. However, these problems are usually restricted to policlinics, lobbies etc while the wards are usually quite clean.

The medical and surgical skills of the doctors are generally high, but then you have cases of surgical instruments forgotten in patient bodies. A major objection from my point of view is a tendency to use too much antibiotics – not that unfamiliar to visitors from US.

Other options are Shifa and Maryam Hospital (Rawalpindi), KRL and some others. Treatment is cheap compared to US, UK etc. I am also aware that Policlinic is being shifted to a new location with a bigger building and new equipment. Is anyone familiar with the latest development on that front?

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