Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database. Guests are not required to login during this beta-testing phase

Aga Khan Hospital office opens - 2002-05-05

Date: 
Sunday, 2002, May 5
Location: 
Source: 
www.khaleejtimes.co.ae/uae.htm#story10

THE Aga Khan University Hospital, the leading arm of Pakistani development sector giants, the Aga Khan Development Network, finally made their Middle East move yesterday by establishing a representative office in Dubai which will also act as the liaison and specimen collection centre for UAE patients.The office was inaugurated by Shaikh Mohammed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Director Sharjah Medical District in the presence of AKUH team headed by Dr Shamsh Kassim Lakha, president of university hospital and CEO Nadeem Mustafa Khan. Pakistan Consul-General Amanullah Larik was also present at the ceremony. Addressing a select gathering, Shaikh Mohammed bin Saqr appreciated the efforts of the AKUH for providing an opportunity for cost-effective healthcare options to the UAE population.
'We could have come to Dubai long back and started making money if we had to, but we chose not to, because AKDN doesn't do business for money and we are into building long-term institutions in the countries we operate including our home Pakistan,' said Dr Shamsh Kassim Lakha at the Press conference yesterday. The AKDN organises from time to time health awareness campaign and seminars in Dubai.
'In short term, we would be establishing clinics in Dubai and Abu Dhabi besides providing the specimen testing services from our office to begin with. The patients will have a single day service on their reports as specimen collected 8am in the morning will have their reports sent back through Internet by the evening,' said Dr Lakha. The AKUH is part of one of the world's largest development sector initiative - the AKDN - which hosts more than a dozen high-profile institutions in Syria, East Africa and Pakistan. Considered one of the most prestigious healthcare facilities in Pakistan, the AKUH has an elaborate patient welfare programmes.
'Around 75 per cent of patients hail from lower class or the middle class communities and that's why Aga Khan University Hospital spends around $3-4 million annually on the patient subsidies,' said Dr Lakha. 'Aga Khan Network is actively involved in infrastructure reconstruction work in Syria and now in Afghanistan as well and our policy is wherever the network can be of any use in field in a Muslim-dominated population around the world we get there to help,' said the seasoned Aga Khan manager. 'Apart from overseas expansion, we are also expanding in Pakistan and at the moment we have as many as 33 site offices all over the country. We are also planning to build a huge educational institution in Karachi,' said Dr Lakha.
Dr Lakha also told in response to a query that the name of Aga Khan commands such a respect that even during the worst turmoil in Karachi, Aga Khan facilities were never threatened. 'We feel that we are somewhere in the middle of the line in terms of world's best healthcare facilities and we have also been nominated for the Joint Commission for International Accreditation award for the best teaching hospital in the world,' said Dr Lakha modestly.
Dr Lakha admitted that the hospital costs are on the higher side of the scale: 'We have to be expensive but if you compare our service with cost, you'll know that it's not that much after all. An open heart surgery at Aga Khan costs around $4000 while the same procedure with the same care costs around $40-50000.' The Press conference yesterday was also attended by Dr Ataur Rehman, assistant professor of cardiology, Dr Asif Fancy, senior director resource development, and Dr Shahid Sami, associate professor and cardiac surgeon.

Back to top