Islamabad-Administrative indolence at Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Hospital (ABSH) Gujrat has led to a situation where a burn centre completed last year is of no advantage to the locals, a hospital official said while talking to The Nation on Monday.

The facility was a donation by a philanthropist to ABSH Gujrat, affiliated with the Nawaz Sharif Medical College. But, the donor himself is paying for its dream as the Punjab government has remained unsuccessful in providing the required staff to run the facility, the official said.

On the other side, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Burn Centre has offered its assistance to run the facility.

Dr Ashir Issac in conversation with The Nation confirmed the development and said that PIMS Burn Centre will facilitate in two manners.

“We will provide telemedicine assistance for technical guidance of the staff at ABSH and provide training to staff every month,” he said.

According to him two doctors, one nurse and one dresser will be provided the training every month after the legal procedure between ABSH and Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University is completed.

PIMS Burn Centre is the only facility providing healthcare to the burn patients free of cost while, ABHS Burn Centre will be the second in this regard.

The construction of ABSH Burn Centre started in 2013 and was handed over to the hospital administration in 2016.

The project cost Rs2.5 billion and covered around an area of 2 kanals.

However, the 20-bed facility remained close for more than a year as the government lacked the capacity to make it operational.

As per the documents available with The Nation, Punjab Government in 2015 issued a letter for creation of 95 posts at the burn unit.

 “A state-of-the-art, fully equipped, tertiary care level 12-bed burn unit with emergency, isolation rooms and operation theatre facilities, is in its finishing stage.

The total expenditure is being met with by a local philanthropist on donation basis,” the notification stated.

In 16 different categories, posts of consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon, consultant anaesthetist, medical officers, head nurse, charge nurse, biomedical technician, junior technicians and other staff were announced.

As per the official, later on only 57 professionals were shortlisted while only 17 joined their posts.

“The centre is being run by only one assistant professor now,” the official said.

Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Kharian which provided the technical guidelines for the burn centre had recommended that that to make the facility functional and for its optimum utilisation, “it is mandatory to specify the material and human resource for the said burn unit.”

Talking to The Nation, Dr Raheel Sarwar, son of the donor Ghulam Sarwar said that the centre was handed over to the government in 2016 but still it is not functional as it would have been.

“We offered to take its maintenance cost of three years also and that the government would run it because it could not be operated in a private capacity,” he said.

But, till now the staff has not been hired by the government and the on-job people also face administrative problems.

He said that as a donor of the project, he is still purchasing all required medical equipment for the burn centre but government seems less proactive in running the centre.

Meanwhile, ABSH Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Shahid Maroof said that the burn centre is functional; however, donor has to provide some medical equipment.

“Indoor, outdoor medical provision including minor operations are being performed and all the required staff is also available including doctors and paramedics,” he said.

The MS also stated that there was no such requirement of the burn centre in the area as already one in Kharian was working.

“The donor built the facility on motivation,” he said.