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Dr. Idrees Padela




Science & Technology 
Corporate Profile
Politics & Policy

By Syed M. Aslam
Oct 30 - Nov 05, 2000

Born and raised in Karachi, Dr. Idrees Padela completed his MBBS from Dow Medical College in 1978. His preference to specialise in Orthopaedic, the medical care related to treatment of injuries or defects in bones, took him to Vienna, Australia from where he completed Diploma in Orthopaedic six years later in 1984. In 1993, he received the highest orthopaedic qualification in Pakistan when he became a member of the Fellow of College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr Padela runs a private orthopaedic clinical practice. An orthopaedic surgeon by profession, Dr Padela is well aware of the importance of Information Technology and its use which leaves no personal or professional lives untouched today. It is this realisation which made him establish Institute of Information Technology and Medical Sciences for healthcare workers and institutes professionals including doctors, paramedics, medical students, medical salesmen.

PAGE: What made you set up the IT institute?

Dr Padela: No part of our lives remain untouched by the IT revolution of today. Medical science is no exception. I have been using PC for last ten years without having any particular training. I realise that healthcare professionals must keep themselves abreast with the latest developments which has turned the world into a real global village to erase all geographical barriers. The world has never witnessed flow of such huge volume of information before and that necessitates the need to keep abreast with the latest developments. The time has come for our health professionals to acknowledge this fact which makes it all the more important for us to remain in the mainstream of profession. I strongly believe that computer literacy for our medical professionals no more remains a preference of choice but rather a must. The establishment of the IT institute can be attributed to this realisation.

PAGE: What kinds of IT courses does your institute offer?

Dr Padela: Infomed is an unique institute as it is aimed at preparing the healthcare workers for the high-tech world of today where information travels at the speed of sound. No medical professional of today can choose to remain cut-off from the communications advances of today. We offer courses in such important areas as basic computer literacy with stress on medical science, management and skill development for the personnel working in the pharmaceutical industry, software development for hospitals & doctors, and IT-related medical education for doctors, medical students, paramedics.

We offer courses which range from two to six weeks. Our pharmaceutical courses include product and field management for salesmen of the pharmaceutical companies. We also offer basic course for medical representatives for more effective sales.

PAGE: What has been the response from the health care industry?

Dr Padela: The individual response has been good. We started classes in August this year. Thus far twelve doctors, all of them from Civil Hospital, have completed the certificate courses in different batches. Eleven others including 8 doctors from Civil Hospital are still in training. All of these doctors chose to upgrade their IT skills on personal basis realising the importance of computer literacy in the contemporary world of today. I am, however, surprised by a general lack of interest on the part of the administration of hospitals, both private and public, and pharmaceutical companies to provide medical-related computer training to their employees.

PAGE: What are the benefits of computer literate medical personnel?

Dr Padela: A computer literate medical work force; be it doctors, paramedics or sales representatives, help it to remain in the mainstream of the profession. The enhanced benefits can be the preparation of medical database of patients to improve administrative efficiency as well as to cut the costs for the benefits of practicing doctors, hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres. This in turn can help accelerate the research and CME (Continuing Medical Association) among the professionals. It also offers immense administrative benefits for medical institutions for smarter operations.

PAGE: What is the future of medical-related IT education in Pakistan?

Dr Padela: The concept of paperless operation in office can also be extended to that of paperless hospitals and clinics. Paperless clinics can become a possibility in Pakistan in the years to come as it does not only improve administrative efficiency but also due to the economic benefits which it offers. Tele-medicine for distant live consultation and treatment will offer immense benefit by reaching the patients in the far-flung areas who otherwise could not travel to urban centres. In the years to come the IT will help organise live medical conference where a foreign expert does not have to travel to impart information and knowledge to local medical professionals. Doctors working in various parts of the country would be able to seek advice, help and expertise from their counterparts from anywhere in the world. The medical professionals would be able to hold live discussion and chat on professional issues and concerns. All this is already taking place in the developed world and all this is bound to happen here in Pakistan. The importance of computer literacy for medical professionals can hardly be over emphasised.