KARACHI-Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah while speaking at the Inauguration ceremony of the Sindh Institute of Advance Endoscopy and Gastroenterology (SIAG) at Civil Hospital, congratulated Prof Saad Khalid Niaz and his team for achieving this historic milestone in the field of advanced Endoscopy.
He also thanked the philanthropists, who supported the project. The CM said that his government firmly believed that affordable, high-quality health care was the basic privilege of every citizen. “It is not only ethically and socially imperative but also a necessary ingredient for the sustainable long-term development of our economies and society,” he said and added that the foremost challenge of the health system was to provide effective health coverage and equal access to medical services for all.
Mr Shah said that when people have to pay for health care out of their pockets, they may delay or relinquish necessary treatments and risk becoming impoverished, especially by chronic diseases which require long-term care. Liver and Gastrointestinal diseases are one of the leading causes of illness and death in our country and interventional and advanced endoscopic procedures are not only lifesaving but save patients from major invasive surgical procedures alleviating their pain and suffering, Murad Shah said and added that considering our social strata, a large number of patients were unable to receive endoscopic treatment due to the high costs, lack of availability, and expertise.
The CM said that the allocation of funds by the Sindh government alongwith support from philanthropists has paved the way for the development of the Sindh Institute of Advance Endoscopy and Gastroenterology (SIAG). Mr Shah said that these services were started in 2006 in Surgical Ward 4 and have finally converted into the first-ever Advance Endoscopy facility providing high-quality services in the province and the whole country.
According to the CM, the SIAG is at par with the world’s best in structure services and equipment. It has also introduced the treatment of Pancreatic stones through a dedicated ESWL machine for the first time in Pakistan and second in this region.
Murad Shah said that he has been told that Pancreatic stones were more common in our part of the world and a very painful condition affecting children and adults. He added that SIAG, like other institutions supported by the Sindh government, would provide treatment through a state-of-the-art facility, extend such services to other districts like NICVD, and train the future generation of endoscopists comparable to international centres. Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho speaking on the occasion said that the Service Hospital was underutilised, and its space could be used for the expansion of the Civil Hospital’s OPD and other facilities.
Speaking on the occasion, Executive Director Prof Saad Khalid Niaz said that in 2019 the chief minister advised him to establish the institute in the civil hospital and had assured him of financial support when he had contacted him for establishing the institute.
He recalled that the CM had given Rs200 million for the institute and the work was started. “Since the building was old and heritage, therefore it caused serious problems in its renovation,” he recalled and added he again contacted the CM for financial assistance, and he gave him Rs400 million.
Architect Shahid Abdullah recalled the days when he started renovation work of this heritage building for establishing the institute. He said he had a plan to renovate the entire Civil Hospital Building. Vice Chancellor Dow University took up the issue of improving, renovating, and overhauling the civil hospital. Mr Paul of the UK who attended the inauguration ceremony said that he could not forget the temperature and hospitality of the people of Karachi.
Earlier, the CM cut the ribbon to inaugurate the institute and then visited the facility.