Friday September 22, 2023

PIMS closes OPD for repairs; creates room for more virus patients

By Our Correspondent
March 24, 2020

Islamabad:The Out-Patient Department of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has been closed for renovation with immediate effect. The hospital administration has also decided to vacate all three floors of the private wards and Medical Ward II, and has reserved 30 beds in the School of Dentistry to accommodate patients suffering from Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), thereby converting the hospital into a quarantine facility.

The decision was taken after the PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza visited PIMS on Sunday for a meeting with heads of various clinical departments and nursing staff. The meeting was also attended by the hospital’s Executive Director Dr. Ansar Maxood.

A day earlier, health professionals representing Islamabad’s five government hospitals had alerted the public not to visit the OPDs of PIMS, Poly Clinic, NIRM, FGH, and CDA Hospital till measures for protection of the health workforce are enforced. They had also expressed their intention to close the OPDs from Tuesday onwards if the government fails to provide personal protective equipment for every single employee of all five hospitals by Monday.

The OPD is said to have been closed under the pretext of repair of the hospital’s outdated and rusted central heating and air-conditioning system. The Heads of Departments are learnt to have proposed the closure of OPDs and creation of space for Coronavirus cases within PIMS as they felt it would be difficult for them to perform duties, both at PIMS as well as at any quarantine facility established outside the hospital. As such, the administration has decided to shift all patients of Medical Ward II within the next 24 hours. No new admissions will be made in the private wards; admissions to the general wards will also be minimized.

The hospital has also constituted a core committee that will give recommendations for improvement on a daily basis. The committee includes Dr. Anwar Maxood, Dr. Rauf Niazi, Dr. Imran Sikandar, Dr. Shahjee Ahmed Siddiqui, Dr. Batool Mazhar, Dr. Jai Krishan, Dr. Ayesha Isani, Dr. Rukhsana Naseem, Dr. Naseem Akhtar, Dr. Farhana Zareef, Dr. Humera Khushnood, and pharmacist Mustafa Khan.

Meanwhile, Dr. Zafar is also stated to have interacted with Chairman of the Young Consultants Association Dr. Asfandyar Khan. He lent a patient ear to the concerns of the medical fraternity and assured that the government was working to provide personal protective equipment for all health care workers at the earliest.

Talking to this scribe, Dr. Asfandyar said, face masks have been provided by the government but personal protective equipment (PPE) is still awaited. He also shared that YCA has created a relief fund to raise finances for purchase of PPE. “We are trying to mobilize funds from our doctors and would like to urge philanthropists to come forward as well. The government alone cannot manage this crisis; the entire nation has to contribute its share,” Dr. Asfandyar remarked. He stated that funds for a YCA event planned at Avari have been diverted to the said fund.