Expanding to serve more

The Korangi Campus in Karachi is being scaled up from 300 beds to 1,350 beds as influx of patients increases



By Talha Nadeem and Maha Aamir

Published: Sat 14 Aug 2021, 12:00 AM

Pakistan, the fifth most populous country in the world, severely lacks basic medical facilities for those who need it the most — the vulnerable sector of the society.

Over the years, hospitals and health institutions in the country have been unable to keep up with the rapid population growth, thus increasing the overall burden of diseases. This coupled with the lack of healthcare professionals has been a concerning situation for the healthcare industry. As per the international standards by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, the lag in crucial health indicators compared to other developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region is clear evidence of the health emergency in Pakistan. This has become a reason for countless heart-breaking stories of lives ruined and lost due to the unavailability of affordable healthcare in Pakistan.

 

Witnessing the dismal landscape of Pakistan’s health sector, Dr Abdul Bari Khan, Founder and CEO of Indus Hospital & Health Network (IHHN), along with other philanthropists, decided to repair Pakistan’s broken health system by establishing Pakistan’s first free paperless hospital – The Indus Hospital (TIH) in Karachi, Pakistan. Since its inception in 2007, the hospital has been serving people coming from across the country with quality healthcare absolutely free. To ensure the services provided are in compliance with international standards, TIH has partnered and collaborated with multiple organisations worldwide, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, amongst others.

 

In 2017, TIH evolved to become the Indus Hospital & Health Network, one of the largest healthcare networks in Pakistan. Currently the Network comprises 13 hospitals in Sindh and Punjab, out of which five are owned and eight are managed by IHHN under the public-private partnership mandate. The network also operates four regional blood centres, four physical rehabilitation centres, Indus Hospital research centre, and a large network of primary care centers with multiple public health programmes across Pakistan.

 

IHHN continues to grow and expand its reach through innovative and state-of-the-art facilities. Its most recent endeavours include the opening of an IHHN-owned 600-bed multi-disciplinary hospital – Indus Hospital & Health Network QF, NST & SMP Campus in Lahore; Pakistan’s first-ever mobile boat clinic in South Punjab to reach the far-off residents living near the River Indus and a brand new Paediatric Oncology Clinic at District Head Quarter Hospital in Badin, Sindh.

IHHN’s mission of creating an excellence-driven, free-of-charge healthcare system accessible to all has helped millions of people in need.

As the network continues to reach out to communities via its network of primary care programme, multi-disciplinary state-of-the-art hospitals and services, the staggering increase in the patients coming to the flagship hospital at Korangi Campus in Karachi has led the management to scale up the capacity of the facility by many folds. Initially, the hospital was set up with 150 beds, but due to the growing influx of patients, it was expanded to 300 beds, resulting in a 40 per cent increase in the patient volumes annually. Despite the hospital’s efforts to treat every patient that sets foot in the facility, the limited capacity along with the ever-increasing number of patients coming within and outside the country has made patient accommodation difficult.

The Korangi Campus in Karachi is being scaled up from 300 beds to 1,350 beds, with the eventual goal to expand to a 1,800 bedded facility. The outpatient capacity is expected to increase from 0.65 million to 1.5 million patients every year, with projected patient admissions to rise from 21,000 to 88,000 per year. More than 450,000 patients benefit monthly from the network’s facilities across the country, but with the new hospital, the patient footfall is expected to triple. Currently, the existing Emergency Room caters to 200,000 patients every year. This number is expected to climb up to 500,000 patients once the new hospital becomes operational. New services, including neurosurgery, surgical oncology, vascular surgery, neurology, psychiatry, transplant services, and cardiothoracic surgery will also be introduced, free of charge. The new facility, once completed, will be the largest multifaceted teaching hospital (in private sector) in Pakistan.

Pakistan also faces shortage of qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals. According to World Health Organization, there are only 7.8 physicians available per 10,000 population. IHHN is playing its role in producing qualified human resources for healthcare through its academic programmes under the mandate of Indus University of Health Sciences (IUHS). In 2015, IUHS received the charter through an Act of Provincial Assembly of Sindh. The new building will house the following seven colleges under IUHS; Indus College of Nursing & Midwifery; Indus College of Medicine; Indus College of Public Health; Indus College of Medical Technology & Allied Health; Indus College of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation; Indus College of Dentistry; and Indus College of Pharmacy. A comprehensive Postgraduate Medical Education programme is already being offered in anesthesiology, family medicine, emergency medicine, among others.

From sprawling metropolises to remote rural areas, people from all over the country and neighbouring countries have come to an IHHN run or managed facility to seek treatment from some of the finest health professionals in the country. Working hand in hand with the government and other private partners and collaborators, IHHN aims to make free and quality healthcare accessible to every Pakistani. This has only been possible with the support of its generous donors and supporters from Pakistan and across the globe.


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