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Saudi-funded hospital to provide free physical therapy services

By Ashfaq Yusufzai 2016-01-05
PESHAWAR: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is financing construction of a hospital to provide physical therapy services to the people suffering from joint pain and body ache andreduce quantum of disabilities, according to officials.

The hospital, to be inaugurated over six-kanal of land in Dagai village of Nowshera district on Grand Trunk Road, is being built by Saudi government in collaboration with Habib Physiotherapy Complex (HPC), Hayatabad to extend free of cost services to the people having joint pain, paralysis, polio and weaknesses. The hospital will benefit the residents of Nowshera Mardan andCharsadda districts.

Dr Mehboobur Rehman, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa focal person for disabilities, told Dawn that the project would cost Rs88 million. The amount would be provided by the Saudi government, he added.

According to him, HPC had given a proposal to the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad about two and half years ago which was approved. Work on the hospital will begin next month.

Dr Mehboob said that initially they proposed to name the hospital after King Abdullah but it was yet to be finalised. He said that tenders were floated and contract was being awarded to make the facility operational in one year over the plot provided by HPC. Initially, it would offer outpatients services which would be enhanced with passing of time, he added.

Dr Mehboob said that the Saudi government was also requested to provide financial assistance for purchase of hightech equipment for the facilitybecause physiotherapy was nonpharmaceutical mode of treatment, which required machines.

`The hospital is needed mostly by women because physical therapy services provide relief to the people, who endure pains, especially womenfolk, who are most vulnerable because they can`t walk out of homes due to which they develop problems,` said Dr Mehboob.

He said that a college of physiotherapy would be established on the first floor of the hospital to train local people and help reduce shortage of physiotherapy services.

Dr Mehboob said that awareness about physiotherapy services was a main obstacle in dealing with disabilities due to which minor cases turned into permanent problems. The district administration Nowshera issued No Objection Certificate for the hospital, which would be managed by HPC, he said. He added that people could avoid many diseases through homebased exercises.As opposed to pain-killer medicines, the physiotherapy had no side effects and had lasting impacts on patients` health, Dr Mehboob said.

He added that the main objective of the hospital was to minimise the number of disabilities and scale up awareness regarding the benefits of physical therapy services.

He said that referral system in health sector was poor due to which patients weren`t sent for physiotherapy. The patients also required physiotherapy services after cardiac and general surgery, poliomyelitis, paralysis etc and the hospital would give opportunity to people to receive free and quality services, he added.

`We have planned to deploy women physiotherapists to facilitate female patients in the rural areas. Women patients prefer to be seen by female health providers,` said Mr Mehboob. He added that later they would also start admitting the patients, who required long treatment.