Rs 200m utilised without planning

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The first ever Liver Transplant Centre, worth over 200 million rupees, at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) proved fruitless when a team of foreign surgeons did not made any surgery and showed dissatisfaction over its operation theatre. The non-serious attitude and lack of ownership on the part of PIMS administration of (PIMS) are the reason behind the improper use of millions of rupees allocated for the centre, while its staff is working without any salary since June this year. The first transplant operation was supposed to be conduct in August under the supervision of experts from United Kingdom, China and Taiwan.
Unfortunately, when the team of foreign specialists visited Pakistan they found the operation theatre of the centre not fully equipped and also expressed reservations over other related things. That is why they did not carry out any liver transplant during their tour and only conducted minor surgeries of liver with their Pakistani colleagues, but promised to visit again when the liver centre would be in a condition to have a liver transplant.
According to the programme, they were first supposed to conduct other minor surgeries before a liver transplant, as the administration had prepared the list containing five to eight patients, requiring transplantation, while most of them were poor with only one or two having financial resources. As result of poor planning and lack of interest by Executive Director Mehmood Jamal, the poor patients, who were hopeful of getting a new lease of life, now have no other option but to wait for a silent death. Professor Dr Nadeem from PIMS and Associate Professor Dr Tariq Ali Bangash from Sheikh Zayed Hospital Lahore were supposed to assist the foreign doctor’s team in conducting the surgeries.
A staff member, while talking to Pakistan Today, said, “We have not received our salaries since this June, also the month of joining. When inquired, we are told that the procedure to start the structure is a bit complicated and lengthy; therefore, it will take some time.” He expressed the fear that newly-established might be closed down after devolution. An official in the liver transplant centre told Pakistan Today, on the condition of anonymity, that there were 90 posts in the institute but the delaying tactics of the hospital’s administration only 25 had so far been filled, adding that a total of 12 nursing staff was hired but only eight of them had joined the centre and remaining slots were lying vacant.
“The equipments, like printers and fax machines, purchased for the centre are being used by the other departments of the hospital, as no one is ready to own the centre,” he lamented. The project was announced by former premier Zafarullah Khan Jamali whereas Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had also promised its execution and the necessary funds were provided for the project as a one-time grant.
Professor Dr Nadeem, the head of the surgical team, and Executive Director Mehmood Jamal were not available for their comments despite repeated attempts.



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