Controlling Karachi’s three leading hospitals — the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) — has become a political issue between the federal and provincial governments, said Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Tariq Rafi on Wednesday.
“The Sindh government has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court, asking it to let the provincial administration retain the control of these hospitals, while the federal government is planning to run them through a board of governors on the pattern of the health facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he told the media at his office.
Prof Rafi said the situation will not be clear in the coming months due to the review petition, adding that in the meantime the JSMU will establish institutes and start programmes in all the other fields associated with medicine, including nursing, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, dentistry and different kinds of therapies.
The objective behind that, he said, is to provide opportunities to the students who cannot get admissions in the MBBS and BDS programmes so they can get education in the allied fields of medical sciences and become useful professionals. “The developed world, especially European countries and the Arab world, immediately hire good nurses who can communicate in English and other languages, while trained and qualified physiotherapists are required all over the world.”
Prof Rafi said that thousands of students who secure over 60 per cent marks cannot get admissions to medical colleges due to tough competition and very limited seats at public and private medical colleges, but most of these students can be taught in the allied fields of medical sciences.
“Not only Pakistan but many European and Arab countries are facing a shortage of good nurses. Our students have potential, and if they are provided quality education and training, we can produce world-class nurses who can not only serve at local hospitals but can also go abroad and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country.”
Physiotherapy and rehabilitation is another emerging field where trained and qualified professionals are helping patients recover from their ailments, he said, but in Pakistan this area is neglected and students are hesitant in studying it. “Patients of all types of ailments require rehabilitation and care after recovering or surgery, and this care can only be provided by specialised people. They are not only required locally but can also serve at world-class health facilities in other countries.”
He announced that the JSMU has decided to start a six-month diploma course in the field of family medicine.