KARACHI: Every year the government spends millions of rupees on various public schemes, however, usually many of these projects are abandoned right after they are completed instead of using them to facilitate the people.
In Karachi alone, there are three major public hospitals that have either being deserted or not inaugurated despite their completion. Among those facilities is a 50-bed hospital located in SITE Metrovile III that was inaugurated by the then Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal in June 2009.
The hospital building was constructed through development scheme, which was sponsored through defunct city district government and annual development programme.
According to a resident of the area, Gohar Ali, the building has turned into a haunted house due to carelessness and negligence of health department authorities. He claimed that the hospital has been left unattended for more than seven years now. “The hospital remained functional for about a year, during 2009 and 2010, but since then it has been abandoned,” he claimed.
The hospital was built at a cost of Rs74 million but due to non-availability of basic facilities such as electricity and medical facilities, the hospital were abandoned. The government will now once again need Rs40 million to revamp and utilise the dilapidated facility with the help of private partners.
The Express Tribune has learnt that despite the number of visits by health department officials to the facility, no action has been taken to revive the hospital that was once operational.
The equipment at the hospital went missing, after the hospital became non-operational. The people have stolen everything due to the absence of security. Even the tiles, flooring, fitting and fixtures, furniture, doors, windows and concealed electric wires have also been stolen.
Similar is the condition of 50-bed hospital facility in Azam Basti, where the drug addicts have made their abode. The hospital was built in 2008 and is abandoned since then. The hospital was established at a cost of Rs69 million but the facility was never utilised.
Similarly, the 400-bed hospital at Nipa Chowrangi in Gulshan-e-Iqbal is yet to become functional by the Sindh government, despite the completion of its structure last year. The total cost of the project according to its PC-I was Rs1,736 million. The hospital is supposed to be have various facilities, including general out-patient department, consulting clinics, lab and other diagnostic facilities, blood bank, specialised facilities such as CT scan, MRI, dialysis unit, neonatal unit and emergency centre.
The project was initially launched by City District Government Karachi in 2006 and the construction work was stalled for more than one-and-a-half year. The Sindh government later resolved the issue and provided funds for the completion of the hospital in 2009.
Despite Chief Minister’s (CM) clear orders to the health department during 20th meeting of public private partnership policy board in April this year, the department has still not managed to make the hospital functional.
However, Karachi Health Director Dr Muhammad Tofique told The Express Tribune that the 400-bed facility at Nipa will be made an orthopedic institute this year, as the CM has already issued the directives. Speaking about the 50-bed facilities at Metrovile and Azam Basti areas, he claimed that there is a dispute between local government and health ministry as who will manage and operate it.
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