Because hearts matter…

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  • Dr Sohail Saqlain’s success story revolves around 4S: structure, system, skill and style

He speaks eloquently, looks smart and possesses a vast experience of management in the health sector as he has served on various administrative posts in leading teaching hospitals of the country like Mayo Hospital, Jinnah Hospital and Lady Aitchison Hospital.

Dr Sohail Saqlain is the incumbent medical superintendent (MS) of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), Lahore who took the charge of his office in July this year and has left no stone unturned in making the hospital conducive for cardiac patients.

“We are striving hard to improve the prevailing facilities within our resources and have achieved most of our goals in this regard,” Saqlain tells Pakistan Today in an exclusive interview.

After passing his graduation from the prestigious King Edward Medical College (now University), Saqlain went for MCPS. He opted to serve the ailing humanity and cure the public hospitals after obtaining degrees in health management from abroad. Dr Saqlain did his master in public health from Australia and MSO in health management from the UK. He is applying his knowledge and expertise in the domestic affairs of the PIC by introducing the 4S: structure, system, skill and style.

According to Saqlain, hospital management in itself is a specialization that aptly helps a lot in running the affairs of hospitals as this study teaches all the nitty-gritty of courtesy, concern and care. It is a matter of fact that the average number of patients in PIC’s emergency ward has increased from 500 to 700 since the joining of Dr Saqlain as MS. The hospital staff gives full credit to their MS for the increase in numbers of patients because of his kind behavior towards patients.

Dr Saqlain says that the PIC is a 347-bedded specialised teaching hospital which also provides policy guidelines to other cardiac hospitals of the province. “The provision of free treatment to 89 per cent of patients and training to postgraduate doctors are indeed great services,” he added.

There are four departments in the PIC and they are all ISO-certified. The annual turnover of patients in the hospital’s Outpatient Department (OPD) is around 250,000 and emergency ward nearly 120,000.

Dr Saqlain is of the view that his kind behavior towards the patients and menial staff is the key factor in improving the governance as he has learnt these techniques during his stint as MS Lady Aitchison Hospital. There are 30 specialist doctors working in the PIC and there would be eight machines of angiography available at the end of this year.

The incumbent MS enjoys a good relationship with the foreign donor agencies as he has closely worked with the USAID, WHO and UNICEF in different projects in the capacity of joint secretary health at the cabinet division. The Italian government will be giving a grant of Rs 153 million to the PIC in the coming days which shows that the other countries have faith in the performance of this hospital. The construction of a 100-bedded new emergency block is also on the cards with the help of domestic donors; which are called friends of the PIC.

The incumbent administration has achieved various milestones in the last four months which includes improvement of infrastructure, maintenance of dilapidated benches for attendants and a mechanism of feedback from the patients. Moreover, a deputy medical superintendent (DMS) has been deputed to monitor the affairs of horticulture in the hospital.