AGA KHAN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL, KARACHI

S.M. ABBAS ZAIDI,
Research Analyst
, PAGE

Aug 18 - 24, 2008

Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, (AKUH) started operations in 1985, as an integrated, health care delivery component of Aga Khan University (AKU). It is a philanthropic, not for profit, private teaching institution committed to providing the best possible options for diagnosis of disease and team management of patient care. The Hospital has 545 beds in operation and provides services to over 42,000 hospitalized patients and to over 500,000 outpatients annually with the help of professional staff and facilities that are among the best in the region. Care is available to all patients in need. Those who are unable to pay for treatment, receive assistance through a variety of subsidies and the Hospital's Patient Welfare programme. AKUH is the first hospital in Pakistan and among the first few teaching hospitals in the world to be awarded the prestigious Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCIA) for practicing the highest internationally recognized quality standards in health care. Similarly, the Hospital also holds ISO 9001:2000 certification for practicing consistent international standards of quality services.

AGA KHAN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL, KARACHI

ROOM CHARGES

Bed Category

Bed Charges

General Ward (5 bed ward)

Rs. 1,060

General Ward (Air conditioned)

Rs. 1,310

Semi-Private * (2 bed ward)

Rs. 2,400

Private * (Single Room)

Rs. 5,800

VIP * (Double Room)

Rs. 12,600

* TOILETRIES ARE WITH THE COMPLIMENTS OF AGA KHAN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL (AKUH).

INTENSIVE CARE UNIT/CARDIAC CARE UNIT:

General Ward Patient

Rs. 5,800 per day

Semi- Private Patient

Rs. 7,200 per day

Private Patient

Rs. 8,000 per day

EXECUTIVE CLINIC PACKAGE PRICES:

Executive Clinic Package Price "A" (two outpatient visits)

Rs. 6,000

Special Executive Clinic Package Price "B" (one outpatient visit)

Rs. 14,500

Executive Clinic Package Price "A" (Clifton Medical Service)

Rs. 5,500

Source: AKUH

FACILITIES

The Hospital is equipped to diagnose and treat Medical (including Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Nephrology, Neurology and Pulmonology), Surgical (Dental, General, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Urology and Plastic), Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics and Psychiatry patients, and its inpatients have an average length of stay of 3.56 days. The Hospital also provides comprehensive Oncology Services including Medical and Surgical Management, Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy, Brachytherapy and Bone Marrow Transplant.

A total of 545 beds, 119 private and 117 semi-private air-conditioned rooms, 251 general ward beds and 54 critical care beds are available in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Coronary Care Unit (CCU), Coronary Intensive Care Unit (CICU) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The Hospital has 11 main operating theaters. There are an additional five operating theaters in Surgical Day Care, two in the Community Health Centre, one in Obstetrics and Gynecology and two mini-theatres in Section of Emergency. State of the art Pharmacy, Radiology (including nuclear medicine), Laboratory, Cardiopulmonary, Neurophysiology and Rehabilitation services are available at AKUH. A fully equipped Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day with a Triage desk and Fast Track System to ensure prompt medical attention for all patients.

CONCLUSION:

Aga Khan Hospital has been established with huge investment and every year substantial amount is spent on renovation, revamping and up gradation of the facilities. The hospital has state of the art equipments and some of the world renowned physicians and surgeons. However, at times the charges become very high. The above statistics gives us a clear idea about the high charges of the hospital.

In most of the countries around the globe providing health care facilities is the responsibility of the government. Either the government provides the services through state run hospitals or the responsibility is undertaken by social security system. Ironically, in Pakistan neither the government has the resources nor any arrangements have been made. The result is people have no option but to approach private hospitals. It is often said that the treatment at private hospitals is very expensive, almost unaffordable for the masses. However, if these hospitals were not there thousands of people would have died every year due to lack of healthcare facilities.

The vast majority of the population finds extreme difficulty in the affordability of healthcare facilities. Government hospitals and dispensaries often provide the service free of cost or at a lowest possible cost. However, the facilities are highly of poor quality. The main reason for this poor quality is the non availability of funds on regular basis. The government may be allocating extensive funds but the largest percentage is spent on incentive of doctors and other facilities. Rather smaller budget is kept for the purchase of medicines and equipment. Due to the poor quality of public sector hospitals a number of private hospitals have been established throughout the country. These hospitals mainly provide the needs of people belonging to higher income groups and corporate employees. It is extremely difficult and many times impossible for a common person to afford such high cost. In Karachi hospitals and dispensaries entities like Civil Hospital, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases have been established by the government but due to administrative problem these hospitals are short of medicines and other essential items. However, in some of the hospitals specialized wards have been established with the help of the private sector and one of the evident examples is Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT).

Though, the government has been increasing budgetary allocation for the healthcare sector, it is still too small keeping in view the growing population and high inflation.