Edhi Foundation plans to convert its 20-bed maternity hospital at Musa Lane, old city area, into a 120-bed general hospital by the end of the current year.
Faisal Edhi, son of late Abdul Sattar Edhi, sharing with APP the details of the ambitious scheme, said a phase wise expansion of the hospital is underway.
“We have not sought any special support for the scheme meant to meet the needs of people pertaining to lowest income group in Karachi, as well as, those from remotest parts of Sindh and Balochistan,” he said in reply to a question.
The project is estimated to be completed at a cost of Rs20 million and is planned to be housed in a six-storey building with a provision for modern gadgets manned by trained professionals.
Expressing his confidence that people will continue to back the foundation in its endeavour to provide free medical and surgical services, he said no special appeal has been made for donations.
“I am sure the commoners of the country will continue to contribute towards the cause so as to sustain the legacy set by Abdul Sattar Edhi and his devoted workers,” he said.
Faisal Edhi agreed that Islamic month of Ramazan, just a few months away, will be crucial in terms of the fund collection.
About reported a decline in the donations to the foundation after the death of Abdul Sattar Edhi, he said Edhi’s team is working day and night to retain public faith.
Expressing his gratitude to the media for providing moral support to the foundation, he said Pakistanis abroad can also play an important role in continuing with Edhi’s mission to serve ailing humanity and relief work in case of natural and man-made disasters in the country and abroad.
With particular reference to general hospital project, he said it was in view of the needs of the patients, transported by Edhi Ambulance Services from different parts of Sindh and Balochsitan to Karachi that the Edhi Foundation decided to have afull-fledgedd hospital.
Idea is to provide immediate and free of cost medical support, ensuring that patients may not need to wait,” he added.
To another query, he said Edhi Foundation plans to start with general surgery ward in next two-month time.
Faisal Edhi said service of competent surgeons and allied professionals is being acquired with adequate arrangements to ensure that requirements of people are duly met without any compromise.
A general surgery ward will be followed by an establishment of midwifery school, children ward, and eye ward while gynaecology ward is already working.
“People need these facilities on urgent basis as private facilities are beyond their means while public sector facilities are either over saturated or unable to deliver,” said Faisal Edhi.
He acknowledged that there was a need for a regular update in the professional capacities and skills of the ambulance drivers, medical technicians and paramedics.
Mentioning that Edhi Foundation was about to start the first ever school for training of technicians and ambulance drivers, he said modernisation of Edhi ambulance service was the dream of Abdul Sattar Edhi.
“Moreover, our experience show that many of the people die due to excessive bleeding, absence of timely medical treatment and surgeries required within a few hours after sustaining serious injuries,” stressed the rescuer.
Faisal Edhi said with the moral support and under the technical guidance of Prof Shershah Syed, a midwifery training school coupled with similar facilities for nurses and paramedics will also be started under the scheme,” he said.
As for midwives, Faisal Edhi said daughters of traditional birth attendants from rural areas of Sindh and Balochistan will be offered to seek updated hands-on training at the Edhi Hospital.
About the initiative to setup a training school for ambulance drivers and medical technicians, he said it was crucial to save lives during conflicts and disasters.
To another query, he said training of ambulance drivers and technicians was a prerequisite, not only for survival but the quality survival of the injured people to hospitals at the earliest by stabilising their condition on the spot of accident and trauma.