Sindh Government approves Rs. 800 Million for Rehabilitation of the JPMC

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JPMC will have a new look in the next two three Years-Prof. Anisuddin Bhatti

Sindh Government approves Rs. 800 Million
for Rehabilitation of the JPMC

Depleted Human Resource is the biggest problem
the hospital is facing

708 posts are vacant and over hundred Medical Officers,
Consultants are absconding, serving overseas

KARACHI:  Better communication and co-ordination with the provincial Government of Sindh has been very fruitful with the result that the authorities have approved Rs. 800 Million for the rehabilitation of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. Depleted Human Resource and financial constraints had been our two major problems so far. At present  seven hundred eight posts are lying vacant while another one hundred Medical Officers and Consultants who went on Ex-Pakistan Leave and never returned are absconding. Due to the court stay order we can neither fill up the vacant posts nor make any fresh recruitments which of course is affecting the patient care, teaching and training at the premier postgraduate medical institution of the country.


Prof. Anisuddin Bhatti

This was stated by Prof. Anisuddin Bhatti, who took over as the 39th Director of JPMC on February 6, 2015 while talking to Pulse International recently. However, despite all this, JPMC, he claimed, continues to do its best and with the help of postgraduates, was trying to provide the best possible care to the patients visiting the JPMC.  Tracing the background of the problems the JPMC has been facing during the last couple of years, Prof. Anisuddin Bhatti said that on July 1, 2010 JPMC was handed over to the Sindh Government with all its staff and assets. Some employees of JPMC went to the court against this decision and this case JPMC Employees Vs Federation which is now well known as CP-D 1692 of 2011 is pending in the courts. About twenty hearings have been completed and now the case is fixed for August 18, 2015.  Earlier the Supreme Court had instructed that the case may be decided in a month’s time but now the court has given three months time. Then there are twelve other adjunct applications attached to this case. The stay order says that there will be no transfer, no coercive action should be taken against JPMC employees, Teaching and Training will not suffer and terms and conditions of service of JPMC employees will not change.  However, in actual practice, since many faculty members have retired during this period and we could not make any new appointment, promotion or bring in any faculty member from other institutions of Sindh Government, teaching, training and patient care is suffering because of maintaining the status quo.

Giving details of the serious human resource deficiency, Prof. Anisuddin Bhatti said that out of sanctioned posts of twenty seven professors, only five are working at present. Similarly out of forty Associate Professors, only fifteen are working. There are 84 posts of Grade-18 which also includes Assistant Professors against which just thirty nine are working. Out of over three hundred Medical Officers, currently only one hundred sixty one MOs are working. Since we have forty Five Senior Registrars who have completed their FCPS, they are extremely helpful and we have been able to maintain standard of care. Total sanctioned strength of JPMC staff is 2362 of which seven hundred eight posts are at present lying vacant.

Continuing Prof. Anisuddin Bhatti said that recently we tried to recruit one hundred forty lower grade employees to ensure cleanliness in the hospital and its surroundings besides looking after essential services but again the Court Stay Order cam in our way and we could not issue them the appointment letters. Asked about the daily patient workload, he said that  over three thousand five hundred patients visits the Out Patients Department daily, over a thousand visit the Accidents and Emergency  in addition to over five hundred indoor patients and all this makes over five thousand patients who are looked after daily. The sanctioned bed strength of JPMC is 1150 but we have 1300 working beds and they are being managed with just three hundred fifty medical officers. In comparison Civil Hospital Karachi has 1750 beds, seven hundred medical officers and full faculty. However, despite these constraints of human resource we are faced with, JPMC is still serving to its best, he added.

Giving data of Heat Stroke patients, he pointed out that over seventeen thousand patients visited the JPMC during that period June 20th to July 4, 2015. The heat stroke patients accounted for 3,600. Out of  three hundred eighty who died, almost 50% were brought dead while the rest were managed  efficiently exceptionally well with the result that our mortality was just  7.5% which is much less than reported from Ahmadabad India due to heat stroke, he remarked.

The Sindh Government, Prof. Anisuddin  Bhatti said  has not only approved  Rs. 800 Million for rehabilitation of  JPMC but it has also made significant increase in current years financial allocations for the JPMC.  Our repairs and maintenance budget used to be just Rs. Two crore eighty lacs but the Sindh Government has increased it to nine crore rupees. When I became Director for a week earlier, I managed to get an amount of sixteen crore sanctioned, he claimed. Out of that budget, we are utilizing nine crore on  replacing and laying of sewerage lines, water pipelines, building of roads within the campus, repair work of different wards. About nine crore out of these funds were utilized to clear the liabilities pending since 2010-2011. While managing heat stroke patients, we utilized the budget we had since the patients were provided all the facilities and drugs 100% free. The Sindh Government has replenished those funds completely hence we are now fully prepared to meet future emergencies like rain, unexpected trauma, viral diseases etc. We are now fully self sufficient and there won’t be any problem, he added. Prof. Anisuddin Bhatti also praised the civil society and philanthropists who also came forward and helped the heat stroke patients and their attendants through different ways which was a great help.

As regards development work, Rs. 422 Million out of the Rs. 800 Million funds will be spent on establishing the College of Physiotherapy, replacement of Water Tanks, setting up Minimally Invasive Surgery operation theatre with laparoscope, provision of Electron Microscopy kits for the BMSI and some other projects.

We have introduced biometric system to ensure employees attendance. This system has been installed  at five placed i.e. in the administration block, nursing school, college of nursing, BMSI etc., while  senior professors have been asked to ensure the timely attendance of doctors. These measures have resulted in 93% timely attendance. Sindh Government has also approved installation of HIMS system in the hospital which will ensure that all the hospital departments are interlinked. Government has already released Rs. 150 Million out of the Rs. 422 Million promised funding, he added. In order to overcome the human resource deficiency, we have written to the Sindh Government to allow us to make some recruitment so that services do not suffer. The law department has prepared a summary which will be forwarded to the Advocate General soon. We are also expecting that the case pending in the Court will also be decided very soon after the next scheduled hearing.

Prof. Anisuddin Bhatti also disclosed that a Surgical Building having 500-beds with eighteen operation theaters suite is under construction. It is being built by Patients Aid Foundation through donations from public. The next project will be Medical Complex which will be a three story building at the site of Ward-7 and BMSI. Once completed, it will accommodate Ward 5, 6 and 7. BMSI will be temporarily shifted to a new place till proper arrangements are made. US AID has already built one Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology while work on establishing two new Departments of Obs. and Gynae is continuing. The repairs and maintenance budget which we have got this year will also help us to face lift the JPMC, giving it a much better look at the entrance on the main road. Once the internal roads networks are completed in the next few weeks, work will start on the face lift of the JPMC entrance on the main road.  We have also built a Helipad which was very much needed while organizing a parking area which could accommodate up to five hundred cars. Hence, in the next two three years, JPMC will have a new look, he stated. Other development projects include psychiatric rehabilitation center, Accidents and Emergency which will be further improved, expanded and named as Department of Emergency Medicine which has been approved. We have also arranged waiting area for patients visiting Blood Bank and Laboratory collection unit.

 Responding to a question as to how they were managing postgraduate training in the absence of such a large number of professors, Associates and Assistant Professors, Prof. Anisuddin Bhatti said that we have 380 seats for FCPS. In addition, after the retirement of the Professor, the next senior person has been given the current charge and they are eligible to become supervisors, trainers which had also been approved by the PM&DC. Hence, that is how we are making up this deficiency for the time being though it is not an ideal situation. As regards House Offices, there are 740 seats out of which three hundred are for federal government. All these seats are being filled on Merit and their ward posting was also determined through computers. Since we have a large number of PGs, patient care has not suffered much as they have taken over the workload of patient care, Prof. Anisuddin Bhatti concluded.