LAHORE -  Inordinate delay in release of funds for procurement of equipment is hindering making the Punjab Institute of Neurosciences (PINS) fully functional.

In the first phase, construction of 10-storey building was completed last year on the premises of Lahore General Hospital with installation of equipment and necessary infrastructure in parts of the Institute at a cost of Rs2.3 billion.

Presently, the institute is partly functional, limited to taking patients at 100-bed emergency ward. Two out of 10 operation theatres are functional where seven to ten emergency procedures are performed daily. Diagnostic centre is limited to state of the art CT scan facilities and other routine tests. Other facilities like latest MRI and Digital X-Ray will be provided within couple of months provided the necessary funds are released.

Establishment of a dedicated institute for neurology was suggested by some prominent neurosurgeons over a decade ago for reducing burden on LGH, a teaching hospital taking neurology cases not only from Lahore but from across the country.

Postgraduate Medical Institute/LGH has been run by Prof Nazir Ahmed, Prof Tariq Salahuddin, Prof Anjum Habib Vohra and Prof Khalid Mahmood, after the idea was floated. Still the mega project is awaiting completion when the institute is being run by Acting Principal Prof Ghiasun Nabi Tayyab.

PINS will deal in 10 disciplines including Neurosurgery, Neurology, Neurophysiology, Neuropathology, Paeds Surgery, Spinal Surgery, Anaesthesia, Radiology and Speech Therapy all under one roof.

The other facilities include parking for 100 cars in two basements, four Neurosurgery Units (50-bed each), three High Dependency Units (three-bed each), a state-of-the-art Spinal Unit (the only such facility in public sector), 10 well equipped modern Operation Theatres, a skill lab and conference room with a capacity to accommodate 500 guests.

Head of Neurosurgery PGMI/LGH Prof Khalid Mahmood said that the Institute was partially functional for the last one year. He expressed hope that PINS would be functional soon as time taking process like construction of building and necessary civil work has already been completed.

“Two operation theatres are functional where emergency procedures are performed round the clock. Three Neuro Unit of LGH has been shifted to PINS building.

The PINS will be made functional within six months after release of Rs1 billion for procurement of equipment, ICU ventilators, infrastructure for wards and auditorium. The amount will soon be released after approval from the P&D Department. There is no issue of availability of fund as the government is committed to complete the project at the earliest”, said Prof Khalid Mahmood, adding, the PINS would be state of the art institute dealing cases in varying subspecialties of neurology.

“PINS will take neurology cases from across the country. It will be a centre of excellence in clinical care and research. It will have separate faculty and provide postgraduate training to 120 doctors annually.

After completion, it will ease burden and enable LGH to deal cases other than neurology”, he said.