Sound health is central to human glee and welfare. It also contributes to financial growth, as healthy inhabitants live longer, are more ingenious, and
save more for their nation. It is imperative to recognize that Pakistan, a country distressed by utmost poverty and ignored healthcare systems, is grappling with a large burden of kidney and liver ailments. The range encompasses infirmities that cause both acute and chronic kidney and liver diseases including Hepatitis, drugs that are nephrotoxic and hepatotoxic, and kidney diseases that develop in the setting of pre-existing liver disease.
There are approximately 10 million patients with Hepatitis C and more than 5 million with Hepatitis B from which approximately 70% live in the province of Punjab. This means 1 in every 12 Pakistanis is stricken with this disease. The menace of Hepatitis B and C has turned into an epidemic in the country. Approximately 40% of the diseases in Pakistan are related to kidney, liver and bladder problems, and only a handful of hospitals are specialized enough to deal with this challenge.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), liver diseases are the 11th leading reason of deaths in Pakistan with kidney diseases on the 12th spot. Another upsetting fact is that a big percentage of our population is below the poverty line having a limited or no access to basic medical care. In the long list of the patients waiting for kidney and liver transplant, many a thousands are in a dismal position. Death toll is very high owing to the deadly combination of disease and poverty that requires extraordinary actions to control the detrimental effects of these fatal diseases.
Multiplicity of these horrendous facts led to a promising collaboration of private and government sectors to boost health services in the country and the making of a gigantic project is underway in shape of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute and Research Center. With a strong will to uplift the standards of health facilities in the country, this public-private partnership between the Government of Punjab and PKLI&RC is robustly fighting the lethal combination of disease and poverty to safeguard the distraught populations of Pakistan.
Taking notice of the dreadful health problems of Pakistan, Prof. Dr. Saeed Akhter, President and CEO of PKLI&RC, made up his mind to put an end to the miseries of Pakistani patients by arranging excellent and free-of-cost treatment facilities, especially for the underprivileged. He accepted the paramount challenge and resolved to take instantaneous and purposeful actions. Utilizing his vast experience of working in healthcare sector, including a 17-year stint in the U.S., Dr. Akhter worked tirelessly to devise a solution to these acute problems and founded Pakistan Kidney Institute (PKI) in the vicinity of Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, in 2004. The journey continued with his perseverance in confirming quality healthcare for the public of Pakistan, particularly for those who are downtrodden and deprived, under one umbrella. But the work was ever increasing, the pressure was too much and the space at PKI was very limited, so Dr. Akhter started exploring more options for expanding the services outside Shifa. In this regard, he met with several people and finally he met with the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif who understood the project and Dr. Akhter’s vision of creating the Harvard of tomorrow in Pakistan. Dr. Akhter got so absorbed in the idea that it soon converted into a mission for him. His passion was in line with the vision of the CM, who liked the idea that has the potential to save many lives and decided to provide funding for the initiative with the enthusiasm of serving Pakistanis.
Paving the way for execution of the hospital building plan, the Government of Punjab generously allotted 60 acres of land to the institute in the Lahore Knowledge Park and 20 billion rupees to cover construction and equipment costs. Having garnered the much-needed financial and moral support from the Punjab government, Dr. Akhter moved ahead with initial-stage planning and the ground-breaking of the kidney and liver hospital took place on August 14, 2015. PKLI&RC – Trust was established under the Societies Registration Act 1860. Certainly, the provincial government extended unprecedented support and cooperation alongside professional guidance and recommendations for the launch of the huge project. PKLI&RC was formed through an Act of Parliament, “Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute Act 2014”, and got ratified by the Punjab Assembly.
To pay back to the community and country at large by offering topnotch medical care that Pakistan has never seen before, Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute and Research Center inaugurated its first phase on December 25, 2017.
Honorable Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif graced this historic moment as the chief guest and cut ribbon in the presence of PKLI&RC’s President and CEO Prof. Dr. Saeed Akhter, government officials and other dignitaries from various walks of life.
PKLI&RC’s senior management and staff members expressed their heartfelt gratitude to Allah Almighty Who has blessed them with this great opportunity to witness the splendid effort and achievement, which is like a ‘dream come true.’ The dream has come about to its culmination after years of diligence, resilience, persistence and focus on attaining this noble goal.
Situated in the Lahore Knowledge Park, near DHA Phase 6, Lahore; the mega hospital, aiming to be a center of excellence in healthcare, has opened its doors with a wide range of services, including OPD consulting clinics, inpatient facility, pathology, clinical laboratory, pharmacy, operating rooms, intensive care services and radiology with a complete range of modern equipment. The hospital’s large dialysis unit, opening with around 20 machines, will expand to 100 machines eventually making PKLI&RC one of the biggest dialysis facilities in Pakistan. In nuclear medicines, SPECT Scans and PET Scans facilities will be operational soon. Pathology services will include haematology, biochemistry, blood bank, transplant immunology, molecular pathology, histopathology and microbiology. The operating rooms are planned to begin with less complex procedures and work progressively towards more complex ones including kidney transplant.
Striving on to accomplish the mission of binding up the nation’s wounds with no discrimination, PKLI&RC has operationalized OPD services in its highly specialized departments focused on medical and surgical problems of patients. Those departments include Urology, Nephrology, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Hepatobiliary Surgery, Kidney Transplant, and Liver Transplant. The hospital will also offer support services such as endocrinology, pulmonology, paediatrics, cardiology, psychiatry, internal medicine, interventional radiology and anaesthesiology.
PKLI&RC is geared up to ensure the highest level of diagnostics and clinical services for patients to set a new benchmark in the healthcare sector of Pakistan.
60 acres of land, financial support of 20 billion rupees, concept of a ‘Hospital in a Garden,’ facility of PKLI&RC Bazar, and availability of the latest technology, equipment and invaluable human capital at PKLI&RC indicate that this giant project is not only the preserve of a few individuals, or a system, or a government, or some corporate agenda, it rather is a representation of the importance of human lives. The efforts behind the achievement of this milestone are plentiful and a team of professionals and the industry has come together as part of the PKLI&RC team.
Disease prevention and awareness programs are part of PKLI&RC’s main objectives. The institute aims to curtail the existing burden of diseases through treatment, relief programs, awareness programs and preventive programs.
Realizing the need for swift actions against the scourging diseases after an in-depth research and brainstorming, PKLI&RC has launched its Hepatitis Prevention and Treatment Program (HPTP) in July, 2016. The program is an enforcement of the institute’s objective of making Pakistan Hepatitis free resonating with World Health Organization’s target of eliminating Hepatitis by 2030, and its persuasive approach ensures to address disease prevention, medical care, and empirical research based on international medical and ethical standards. Under this program, PKLI&RC team planned to set up 25 satellite clinics in Punjab. The plan is being executed in full swing and satellite clinics in Lahore, Kasur, Rajanpur, Jhelum, Mandi bahauddin, Chiniot, Chakwal, Narowal, Khanewal, Shujabad, Lodhran, Okara, Hafizabad, Attock, Mianwali, Bahawalnagar, Nankana Sahib, Pakpattan and Bhakkar districts have been launched so far. To date, around 80,000 people have been screened for Hepatitis B and C, vaccinated against Hepatitis B and treated by these clinics. Five more clinics will be launched by March 2018. These clinics, equipped with the latest technology, offer the patients an easy approach to safe, reliable and life-saving treatment, promising that transmission of viral Hepatitis will be put to an end to make Pakistan Hepatitis Free.
PKLI&RC is constructing an innovative hospital building with the vision of becoming a center of excellence in healthcare. This is the only healthcare project designed on JCIA (USA) standards in the history of Pakistan. The hospital premises hold the latest and best in the market equipment and facilities to warrant delivery of effective medical care without discrimination alongside fostering culture of prevention, original thinking, advanced research and medical education.
PKLI&RC was conceptualized as a “Hospital in a Garden.” Consistent with the brilliant concept, the hospital building will have perfect garden-like conditions for the visitors to create a healing environment keeping in view the positive impact of nature and greenery on a patient. The hospital building is designed to make maximum use of the natural light, saving a lot of energy.
Inspired by the possibilities of the biomedical revolution and the individual patient’s need, CPG-ARCOP architects set out to completely reimagine what a hospital could be. In PKLI&RC’s hospital, healing will be an upward journey that begins the moment a patient arrives. Top-class international medical designers completed their work on an enthralling model of the hospital based on healthy environment protection. Holding eccentric features, PKLI&RC will serve the incapacitated individuals of our community, and the world for many years to come. The hospital design will literally take healthcare in Pakistan to the next level. Between the technology and tranquility, PKLI&RC Bazar lies in the environs of the hospital where public and private spaces will merge in a grove of trees, flowers and walking paths. Besides accommodating the patients, their attendants and hospital staff in fetching daily-use items with ease; the bazar will also raise the commercial activity and will subsequently promote the prospects of business activities and employment in the country.
PKLI&RC is proud to have triggered a reverse brain drain in the greatest interest of the people of Pakistan. The hospital has covered a big ground by hiring nearly 1000 clinical and nonclinical staff members, including 70 highly trained specialists and consultants from USA, UK and other countries. This is the biggest reverse migration of brain in the history of healthcare industry of Pakistan. PKLI&RC’s sublime mission of serving the ailing humanity without discrimination has the right appeal for the Pakistani doctors practicing in foreign countries to decide on coming back to their homeland to serve their nation. The institute is blessed to have a nice mix of expatriate and local doctors who have extensive experience of working at various national and international hospitals, institutions and centers.
The hospital has a motivated team of qualified foreign and Pakistani nurses and support staff who have knuckled down to contribute to PKLI&RC’s goal of caring for the unwell and needy. The hospital has established a customized training program for the newly-hired nurses to enable them to enhance their knowledge and skills for the provision of high-quality and efficient care to the patients. These well-trained and competent nurses are prepared to look after the patients with the utmost attention and compassion.
PKLI&RC – represented by Infrastructure Development Authority (IDAP) – entered into a contract with Havelsan (Turkish Software Company) for development and deployment of comprehensive Hospital Management Information System (HMIS). HMIS would facilitate in resource planning for clinical and administrative functions, support services, execution of paperless data processing and electronic medical records.
Commencing with the capacity of more than 100 beds in the first phase, PKLI&RC will eventually be a facility of 800 beds, extendable up to 1500 beds, with a 100-bed emergency center, a 100-bed ICU, a 100-bed outpatient dialysis facility, a 500-bed in-patient facility, 20 operating rooms and 10 same-day surgery suites. The hospital is designed to be equipped with a modern technology and forward-looking facilities to provide hassle-free services to visitors and patients. PKLI&RC, which will function with an autonomous board of governors consisting of professionals with the highest moral and professional integrity, has plans to launch a radio station and a TV channel focused on healthcare education.
As planned, PKLI&RC will shape up as a hub of activities for the patients who cannot afford to finance their medical bills. Because of the high costs of such treatments, they have either to depend on government funding or philanthropists’ help or they leave this world without medical aid. In line with its mission, the hospital will provide free-of-cost medical treatment, including specialized kidney and liver transplantation, to the deserving patients suffering from these life-threatening diseases. The poor patients in the country would be allowed an easy access to sophisticated heath facilities at par with elite-class national and international hospitals. Our multidisciplinary staff works together to treat patients using the core values entrenched into ethos.
In quest of excellence, the hospital complex is planned to house a university to build future indigenous human resource. The university will impart world class education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels producing more specialists to augment the quality of healthcare in the country. The initiative will also result in the making of high value exportable human resource in the field of medicine setting new standards in clinical and nursing education that can be shared with the rest of the country.
In a bid to redefine the medical care in Pakistan, PKLI&RC is promoting research culture to gather national and international scientists and clinicians on one platform for innovative research. All research works carried out at the liver and kidney institute are reviewed by Institutional Review Board. PKLI&RC has been working in close coordination with Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB), University of the Punjab, a prestigious research center of the country, on a verity of scientific topics of mutual interest. Some of the best trained residents and fellows have been participating in PKLI&RC’s basic and clinical research. PKLI is also forming an alliance with LUMS for research collaboration where PKLI researchers will work at LUMS in the basic lab and LUMS scientists will work at PKLI to get clinical material. It is decided that both sides will have joint workshops and seminars as well as disease prevention campaigns. Specific areas of future research would encompass stem cells, cancer, stone, cytogenetics, molecular biology and bioethical research in line with high ethical and international standards.
PKLI&RC possesses exceptional technology to guarantee extraordinary care. It has world class systems to ensure provision of incomparable services to the patients in a timely manner. High-quality equipment, competent doctors, empathetic staff and, above all, enthralling mission of the hospital, are the major factors underpinning the hospital’s drive toward becoming a center of excellence in health sector of Pakistan, healing both body and spirit of the distressed human beings. Not just stopping here, it is prepared to soon make its mark as one of the premium kidney and liver hospitals in the world. The institute will be the Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge or Johns Hopkins of Pakistan Insha’Allah and will set new trends and benchmarks of magnificent healthcare delivery both in public and private sectors.