I believe that if you do not think about making your importance felt or proving yourself, it happens eventually and

it happens all by itself, you should not think about it. A lot of my friends and colleagues are abroad, most of them are in the US and in UK, but in no way do I consider myself less fortunate than them Rabeea Shehzad interviewed Dr Adeeb Rizvi, the director of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). The SIUT is the largest public sector health organisation in the country, which provides free, modern medical care for kidney diseases and transplantation. SIUT s prime mission is to treat diseases and to create awareness among people about their prevention. It also works towards the rehabilitation of patients after treatment. After being given autonomy in 1991, SIUT has treated over 1 million patients and spent over a billion rupees on patient care. Their patients are predominantly from the rural and poorer urban strata with virtually no access to medical facilities, and those people who are financially incapable of affording modern diagnostic, treatment and transplant facilities. SIUT s extensive facilities are fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, which enables it to provide free treatment related to a vast area of medicine. This also means that many patients, who would have to go abroad for costly treatment, can now be treated within the country, thereby saving valuable foreign exchange. SIUT depends substantially on contributions from the public, corporate bodies and citizens to provide free treatment to all. A government grant and Zakat contributions are also an important part of their funding. The Society for the Welfare of Patients of Urology and Transplantation is the welfare body of SIUT that raises funds for the provision of free urology services. RS: First of all I would like to know that where did you get the motivation to start such an institute, and that too in a country like Pakistan where providing the kind of services that you currently are, free of cost is not easy, especially in terms of funding. So what was the motivation behind starting this institute? AR: First of all I would like to say that no other country believes in charity as much as Pakistan and Pakistanis do, and it should not be a difficult task if people are willing to do it. Secondly, a person s own observation becomes his motivation. If you have a sensitive mind and you observe things around you, then you respond to those things. RS: But when you laid its foundation, when you started this institute, it is said that there were only eight beds here at SIUT premises. Were you the only one who started this or were there other people too

it is in response to the need of the patients that come here. you should not think about it. basically I am a surgeon. but there was no planning behind all this. Apart from that there should be a well equipped operation theatre and there should be equipment to take an X-Ray. As the time passed. most of them are in the US and in UK. but in no way do I consider myself less fortunate than them. For example if a patient came in and both of his kidneys had stones and needed an operation. and whatever you see here. AR: In Pakistan. RS: Why did you decide to come back to Pakistan after working there? Because there are a lot of Pakistani doctors who complain about the way things are being run here and so they decide to go abroad. If all these things are not there then they should be made available and if they cannot be made available. It was just that whenever a patient used to come in and if he was in need of an operation. the next best substitute for that particular thing should be made available instead. We never dreamt or planned about this institute and how we were going to run it. people started joining me here and the team became bigger and bigger. after that I went to England for my fellowship in Edinburgh and London. I got a job in the Urology Department. That is what we did here. . we always tried our level best to make it possible. RS: And it takes quite a long time for them to prove themselves as respected doctors? AR: I believe that if you do not think about making your importance felt or proving yourself. the Urology Ward was already there. So attempts should be made to make things possible. and yes there were a small number of beds here. it happens eventually and it happens all by itself. I got my MBBS Degree from the DOW Medical College. a blood test needs to be conducted before the operation. RS: Why did you decide to work only for the Urology and Transplantation fields? Didn t you have any interest in any other field such as heart diseases etc? AR: No. I worked there for eight years and then came back to Pakistan. We have constantly been trying to respond to the need of the patients. he has to prove himself. and as a surgeon when I came here. a doctor has to make his importance felt. and if he thought that the operation could not take place due to some reasons. A lot of my friends and colleagues are abroad. So my field actually got confined to just that and I have been in the Urology Department since then. RS: And did you go abroad for receiving education? AR: No.who helped you in establishing this institute? Whose idea was this basically? AR: Well.

2 million to the transplant fund. and to transfer one s purpose and intention to them as well to achieve the goal? It is a very difficult job to do. you will have to fulfill the needs of the people who come to work for you. When I went to the UK. or if you want to work towards something big. For example. I cannot give you a fixed budget because the budget keeps on changing all the time. and you have to keep them together in times of success and failure. I had gone with the intention of returning to my own country and I did. RS: It is a fact that if you have to achieve something in life. from the ward-boy to the professor eats in that same kitchen. we conduct two transplants everyday and that is the routine. for example. AR: It does not have to be difficult. but I will never get that sense of belonging anywhere but in Pakistan. and only those people stick around who are willing to work and who are willing to accept the challenges this . RS: Is it difficult to attract people for charity work so that they can come and work with you here? AR: I think it is a bit difficult in the beginning. we have few doctors but that is only because the patients increase in number everyday and there is a certain load. For example we have just one kitchen here where everyone. provided that you give them a sense of belonging and participation. You have to set your own example and make sure they get the same pleasure from your work as you do. We have self-service here and everyone eats the same thing. RS: Have you faced any problems in building up your staff and have you ever felt that you have fewer doctors here and that you have a need to recruit more doctors? AR: Well. You have to look after that and you have to motivate them as well. Given the opportunity. You should always try and work towards removing distances and bringing people together. then it will never be a problem. in addition to all the other work that is going on in the institute. What qualities do you think a person should have to work together with a team and keep them together. It will never be a difficult job. Everyday we add Rs 1. and there is usually a whole team that needs to help one achieve something that big. But if you motivate people. It should not be like that you have a separate dining hall where you are having your meal alone and you make the rest of the team and staff eat somewhere else. obviously there has to be work pressure.RS: Did you come back to Pakistan with this motive that you were going to do something here after working in England for eight years? AR: I had never really thought about what I was going to do once I was back in Pakistan but I always had this thing in mind that I belong to Pakistan and I can do anything anywhere else. So instead of increasing the distances. if you try to completely remove them. A place where there is so much activity going on. I will do the same thing again. That is something that I had always felt strongly. it is never easy to do it alone without any support.

but the tricky bit is checking to see if the transplanted kidney is functioning normally in the body. and certain expensive medication is required for that purpose. and that means an expenditure of around Rs 3. color. Apart from that.6 million per month. RS: Do you face problems with funding? AR: Yes. But see. Anything that is needed for the patient and his treatment will be provided for free. creed or financial capacity can come to the SIUT and feel that they have a right to receive treatment. there is the follow up and the routine check ups involved later. that problem has always been there and I think it always will be. That is why we say Treatment and Beyond . everything will be provided free of charge to him. RS: How much funding do you receive? I mean you said that you conduct transplants everyday so can you tell us about the money that you receive? AR: We perform 10 to 12 transplants every week. irrespective of caste. I think looking after the patient once the transplant has been done is more important than the transplant or treatment itself. . We get grants from the Sindh government and then we get donations from the average Pakistani. Transplantation is not too difficult. Anybody. RS: Are the free of cost services provided to everyone who comes here.job has to offer. our motto is Treatment and Beyond . For transplantation. everything has been provided from the people of this country and the government. For as long as the patient is in the hospital. there is no screening at SIUT whatsoever. or only the ones who are unable to pay due to financial constraints? AR: No.

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