The Charity Midland Doctors was created to serve a simple purpose to house The Midland Doctors Medical Institute in the earthquake hit region that would provide free healthcare at the point of delivery and serve as a major training centre for local health care professionals as well as acting as a focal point for any future relief operations should another natural disaster strike the region.
On the morning of 8th October 2005 a catastrophic earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale struck the unsuspecting people of Northern Pakistan. For six terrifying, agonising minutes the earth shook and when it stopped, over 87,000 people had lost there lives, tens of thousands were severely injured and over three million were made homeless.
A trauma team from Nottingham & Derby flew into northern Pakistan one week following the tragedy. The team worked in a field hospital consisting mainly of tents. Over one thousand patients were treated in the five and a half days they were there.134 major surgical procedures were carried out under general anaesthetic. At any one time 70 inpatients were being treated.
Organisational skills during major incidents are a vital resource and a special area of expertise of this team. The team helped create a medical facility with a functioning Emergency Department, a fully operational operating theatre and in-patient care facilities for 75 patients. A system of ward rounds and a standard for in-patient care was established. Pre-transfer stabilisation and triage systems were set up. Theatre rules and procedures were made operational.
The bravery, resilience, fortitude and self-sacrifice shown by the people of Northern Pakistan despite overwhelming odds, did not fail to move each member of our team. Amongst the ruin and heartache there was a timeless patience rarely witnessed. Generations will pass before the full horrors of October 8th will fade into a distant memory.
A large number of patients had been seriously injured during the earthquake disaster and a proportion of them would require long term help as regards to rehabilitation.
Midland Doctors Team addition ,population growth and with it the increase load of patients combined with the lack of maintained infrastructure had put tremendous pressure on the devastated health-care system. Moreover, there is a need for the introduction of the latest technology, the maintainence of a hygienic environment and the nuturing of professional medical staff so that doctors and nurses could flourish and contribute to the management of a high quality health care system in the earthquake region.
The team returned to England after one week in Balakot. The glaringly obvious lack of appropriate medical facilities even before the disaster was very obvious to all and on returning to the UK, they dedicated themselves to building a charitable hospital in the region.
Availability of trained medical staff play a major role in the success and popularity of any hospital. It is proposed that consultants from principal specialties will travel on a regular basis from The United Kingdom and work in the hospital as consultants to provide medical care as well as provide training to the junior doctors and nurses. In addition it is planned for consultations and training to occur via remote telemedicine and internet technology. This training function will help build the hospital as a reputable facility in the region.
The proposed project is to set up a charity general hospital within Pakistan administered Kasmir that caters to inpatients and outpatients and will serve as a base for internationally trained specialists both on the ground and via telemedicine facilities to treat patients and consult with and train local health care professionals. It will also serve as a platform for aid agencies to implement health programmes.
Medical training will be a major function of the facility. The hospital indoor facilities would include a 30-bed in-patient department with two fully functional operation theatres capable of conducting all types of surgery. The outdoor facilities would include a diagnostic clinic consisting of a complete medical laboratory and a radiology department.
The Government of Pakistan has developed an elaborate system of public health care in the country. This infrastructure consists of Basic Health Units (BHUs), Rural Health Centers, tertiary and training hospitals. In addition to these BHUs, specialized Medicare centers such as Maternity and Child Health and TB Centers are also established in the country.
The existence of any such facility in the earthquake area was indistinct and if present it has now been annihilated. Moreover, with an overall budgetary allocation of 0.7% for the public health sector, need for non governmental support is vital. Lack of resources are a threat to the health of earthquake area population.
The proposed hospital would have the following departments:
- Out patients facility.
- Physiotherapy/ Rehabilitation Unit.
- Radiology Department.
- Haematology and Biochemistry Lab.
- Canteen with associated catering Department.
- Two Operating theatres with Sterilisation Unit.
- Gas supply Unit.
- Generator Storage Unit
- Medical waste disposal unit (Incinerator)
- Ward with facility of recovery unit.
- Accomodation unit for visiting doctors and on call resident staff.
- Administration Unit
- Surgical Department
- Medical Department
- Paediatric Department
Below is an account of the progress so far; please check back regularly for the latest news!