The Sindh Government Health Department has failed to open expanded section of Sindh Government Children Hospital North Karachi despite the lapse of one and a half year.
The expansion of the hospital was completed about one and a half year ago in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) but the provincial health authorities have to still make it operational or run it under public private partnership.
An official of the hospital said that the construction work of expanded section of the hospital started in March, 2014 and was completed in March, 2015. The 50-bedded children hospital was expanded to over 200-bed facility but the new section of the building could not be opened for general public due to lethargy of health department, he added.
He said the hospital has become the second largest children healthcare institution in the city after National Institute of Child Hospital (NICH), adding that its expansion was completed with a cost of over Rs 1 billion with an aim to provide advanced pediatric care facilities to children in Karachi.
He said the hospital administration can accommodate over 200 patients in the healthcare and provides them facilities of operation theatres, medical and surgical intensive care units, nursery, incubators, ventilator unit as well as treatment of common child diseases.
One and a half year has passed but the provincial health department has yet to make this expanded children hospital fully operational, he said, adding that the plan to run the hospital under public partnership has also been delayed.
Though, new Health Minister of Sindh Dr Sikandar Mandhro claims bringing improvement in the government-run hospitals of the province but the inordinate delay in opening the expanded section of the hospital tells another story.
Sindh Health Secretary Dr Usman Chachar was not available for comment.