Islamabad - The liver transplant project of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) is not functioning due to non-availability of funds, the senate body was told on Monday. 

The meeting of senate standing committee on Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) was held here under the chairmanship of Senator Dr Ashok Kumar. The committee discussed the performance of PIMS hospital and the free and compulsory education amended bill 2018 moved by senator Samina Saeed.

PIMS Executive Director (ED) Dr Raja Amjad Mehmood briefed the committee that PC-1 of the liver transplant project at PIMS has been approved, while the transplant is not functioning because of non-availability of funds.  He also said that there is shortage of liver transplant specialists while the available medical specialists are reluctant to join PIMS liver transplant centre because of low salaries.  Dr Amjad informed that the committee ministry of CADD has been intimated regarding the problem that it can issue Rs96million grant in this regard. Dr Amjad said that the special grant will be utilized to hire specialized medical professionals of liver transplant on a contractual basis.  The committee was also informed that 15.5 percent of total PIMS budget is allocated for purchasing medicines. The committee also expressed concerns on theft of medical equipment from the hospital.

The PIMS Executive Director (ED) Dr Raja Amjad said that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has initiated the investigation on the incident which is still underway. 

The chairman committee remarked that PIMS is the largest hospital in the region and it must be provided with more and more facilities. He said the hospital is facing the burden of the entire country and it is necessary to improve its facilities. The committee expressed reservations on shortage of funds for the hospital due to which people are facing difficulties in receiving adequate healthcare.  The committee recommended to immediately release the funds for the hospital to complete the pending projects of the hospital.  The committee also sought a reply from FIA regarding the progress of the theft case.

The committee was also informed that Central Development Working Party (CDWP) had approved Rs 2000 million for the establishment of Cancer Hospital in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

The committee suggested the aforementioned Cancer Hospital should be established at National Institute of Health (NIH) Hospital as it has enough land. In his briefing Dr Amjad said that PIMS did not have a fully functioned oncology department at the hospital, adding that only one doctor of the said department was available. However, he said that all types of operations were being conducted at PIMS.  Sharing the details, ED PIMS said that currently, 1150 posts were vacant at the hospital which would be filled by the incoming government. 

He also told the body that eight kidney transplants had been conducted since the last one and half month at PIMS. Around 45 beds were working at PIMS emergency, he said adding that the new emergency room of the hospital had also been functioning properly.

While giving details about the Cardiac Centre at PIMS, he said that stents and medicines were being provided freely to the patients and that currently, more than 100 ventilators were working at the hospital. The committee meeting was attended by the Senators including Mir Muhammad Yousaf Badini, Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Sajjad Hussain Turi, Nighat Mirza, Saadia Abbasi, Samina Saeed and officials from PIMS.