RAWALPINDI: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology and Transplantation (RIUT) on Tuesday, making it operational after 11 years.
The construction of the 400-bed hospital began in 2012 at a cost of Rs2 billion, but the poor pace of construction increased the cost to Rs3.4 billion. Furthermore, the number of beds was lowered to 200. The project cost Rs1.5 billion at first, but owing to slow finance, it was increased three times to more than Rs3 billion.
In 2019-20, the previous PTI-led Punjab government allocated barely Rs200 million for the project.
However, with the change of government last year, the federal and provincial governments increased their efforts to complete the project.
The Punjab government purchased a total of l96 Kanals from the Punjab Agriculture Department, which afterward relocated its offices near Rawat.
No one, according to the Prime Minister, should be allowed to politicize government programs.
In the previous two years, the hospital building has also been used to care for Covid-19 patients in the Rawalpindi district.
At the moment, Benazir Bhutto Hospital’s urology department is performing kidney transplants on a limited basis. A 35-member urology and kidney transplant expert team at the hospital has performed a few operations.
Prof Dr Mohammad Umer, Vice Chancellor of Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU), told Dawn that the RIUT’s emergency, outpatients department (OPD), lithotripsy, dialysis center, and laboratory were already fully operational and that the installation of kidney transplant machines would be completed this month.
“Full-fledged kidney transplants will begin in the hospital after that.” “The lithotripsy machine, which uses radiation to remove kidney stones, is one of 50 machines that have been made operational in the dialysis unit,” he said. According to him, the RIUT will serve as a model for other institutes in the region.
He also stated that lithotripsy machines had been installed. A laboratory has been established in the hospital, and 80 percent of the equipment required for kidney transplants has arrived and is being installed, he said.
“Kidney stones will be treated with a laser using lithotripsy machines at the RIUT, which will be the first government hospital for the treatment of kidney diseases in the Rawalpindi division,” he explained.
APP ADVERTISEMENTS: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that development initiatives, especially those related to health and education, should not be politicized and should be carried out in the best interests of the general population.
During his visit to the RIUT, he stated that no government project should be politicized.
He expressed delight with the completion of the hospital’s first phase, in which patients received the best medical treatment in the areas of dialysis, kidney disorders, and surgeries.
He praised the Punjab Ministry of Health for successfully completing the hospital’s operationalization and thanked doctors and nurses for their efforts.
He stated that Rs5 billion has already been spent on RIUT and recalled that he set the hospital’s foundation in 2012. He regretted that the previous administration had delayed the project, which could have been operating much sooner.
Mr. Sharif previously stated that an allegation leveled against him by a former Supreme Court chief justice had delayed the construction of a kidney and liver transplant hospital in Lahore.
He claimed that such discouragement of growth and social activity has a negative impact on the supply of municipal services to the general people.
The prime minister visited various parts of the RIUT and inquired about patients’ health.
Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of Information & Broadcasting, and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leaders Hanif Abbasi and Tahira Aurangzeb were among those present.