Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Institute of Psychiatry (SCJIP), Hyderabad, a historic hospital established in 1865 for treatment and rehabilitation of psychiatric patients, lacks in specialized professionals.
“This specialized historic hospital lacks in specialized professionals. There is just one qualified psychiatrist, no psychologists, no other specialist like physicians, surgeons to deal with any emergency, anesthetist, cardiologist, child psychiatrist & psychologists, post traumatic rehabilitation professional, psychologists, social worker, physiotherapist etc. There is also an acute shortage of support staff and allied professionals,” says a report shared by Mr. Gul Metlo on his FB wall containing the findings of a team of Sindh Mental Health Authority (SMHA).
The SMHA team, comprising of its chairman Senator Dr. Karim Khawaja, Dr. Iqbal Chandio, Dr. Ajmal Mughal and Gul Metlo visited historic hospital located in Hussainabad area of Hyderabad, spent a whole day and gathered first hand detailed information of all the facilities on Saturday December 21. The team also had frank discussions with doctors, support staff and patients. Medical Superintendent Dr. Aijaz Qadir Patoli and senior members of his team briefed the team on current state of services, ongoing transformations and future plans.
There are 70+ doctors (including 23 postgraduate trainees) while about 400 new patients attend OPD every day. There are over 350 in-door patients. The institution has a dental Clinic and handicrafts workshop, report says.
SCJIP was established in 1865, on 28 acres of land at Giddu Bandar Hyderabad to provide Mental Health Services to entire subcontinent and other regional countries including Afghanistan.
In its 155 years history, this 500-bed unique facility has undergone many ups and downs. Its several facilities were illegally occupied by some irrelevant bodies, which have now been vacated except the one which still continues to be occupied by College of Physicians and Surgeon of Pakistan. “This should also be vacated immediately,” Mr. Gul Metlo, suggests adding that CPSP is a prestigious institution and with abundant resources to find its own premises elsewhere in Hyderabad or Jamshoro. “CPSP should not encroach on the facilities which are only meant for these unfortunate people, who themselves cannot look after their very own well-being. It’s a disgrace for CPSP also,” it said.
SCJIP is currently undergoing massive service delivery transformations, repairs of old facilities, construction of new facilities and systems developments.
“We visited offices, registration desks, conference rooms, spacious auditorium, OPD Block, wards, under-construction wards, new OPD Block, the old magnificent buildings-which have recently been got vacated from a dubious NGO, Pharmacy, Drug Store, under development Medical Informatics section, nurses stations, handicrafts section, kitchen, toilets and open spaces- some of which are in good state of maintenance, while others need drastic improvements,” writes Mr. Metlo.
The service delivery, cleanliness, personal hygiene of patients, adequate food and overall care of patients was reasonably good, despite acute shortage of professional and support staff, lack of appropriate systems and legislations, sick administrative practices of the Health Department Government of Sindh, completely nonexistent rather antagonist working relationship of hospital management and faculty of LUMHS.
“Existing Postgraduate training facilities are in doldrums. CPSP and LUMHS must take an immediate action to address it, before this farce of postgraduate training gets scandalized to be called as ‘GOSRO’ postgraduate trainings, as we did not see a single postgraduate of registered 23 postgraduates posted, around in whole day we spent at the entire premises of SCJIP,” Mr. Metlo observed.
“We also discussed about many legal aspects, lacunae in current Sindh Mental Health Act 2013, non-supportive attitude of families of patients- who just consider SCJIP as a dumping place of Mental Health compromised individuals, humiliating attitude of judges in courts and minions of district administration, threats from unscrupulous elements and requests for undue favours from society at large etc.”
The good thing is that some more legislation is in pipeline, which soon would be tabled in Sindh Assembly. The passage of which will certainly alleviate the situation.
“SCJIP is a great historic and heritage institution. The negligence on the part of past governments and current government should be looked into it with all the required seriousness and a master plan be executed to appropriately enhance its services,” Mr. Metlo suggested.
“The benefactors of this facility are voiceless due to their unfortunate state of mental health. They simply can’t look after their own well-being. We have not only to look after their wellbeing, but have also to protect them from people who are eyeing to usurp this prime land worth billions rupees. To secure this can somehow be also achieved by declaring the whole premises as heritage property.”
This institution can easily be converted to a world class state of the art institution in a very short time.
(Published as allowed by Mr. Gul Metlo)