A new Emergency Room


 Administrator, Eric Siraj with Farah Anil, Clinical Services Director of St Elizabeth Hospital, Hyderabad, Pakistan. Photos: Fr Robert McCulloch SSC

Administrator, Eric Siraj with Farah Anil, Clinical Services Director of St Elizabeth Hospital, Hyderabad, Pakistan. Photo: Fr Robert McCulloch SSC

St Elizabeth Hospital began as a maternity hospital but in response to widening needs has developed in the past 10 years as a general hospital while maintaining its specialisation in mother and child care. The hospital is a reference point for the people of Hyderabad. Through its Mobile Medical Outreach Programme, St Elizabeth provides free medical care to more than 50,000 desperately poor, needy and “socially ignored” people in one of the least-developed areas of the Sindh province.

A new Emergency Room, equipped with cutting-edge technologies, has been inaugurated at St Elizabeth Hospital (SEH) in Hyderabad Pakistan. St Elizabeth, a Catholic healthcare facility with 110 beds, was founded in 1958. Columban Fr Robert McCulloch, for over 20 years chair of the Board of Directors at the hospital and now Procurator-General of the Missionary Society of St Columban in Rome, gave this report to Agenzia Fides.

The opening of the new Emergency Room took place on September 12, 2020, when Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad blessed it in the presence of representatives of the health department of the Sindh provincial Government, Hyderabad civic officials, doctors, and staff of St Elizabeth Hospital. Bishop Samson expressed his thanks for the work of the hospital and said "the Catholic Church testifies to being an integral part of Pakistani society, helping to heal the sick, contributing to improving relations of peace, dialogue and harmony, and working for the common good of the country". 

Just three weeks before the opening of the Emergency Room, the hospital was completely surrounded by flood waters after torrential monsoon rains which caused havoc in urban and rural areas of the Sindh. St Elizabeth Hospital is not financially well off but it has the huge resource of the generosity of its staff. The Administrator and the Chief Medical Officer together with technicians and cleaners and nurses and office staff manned the pumps and the brooms and mops to clean up the mess left by the flood. God was good and for a few days before the opening brilliant sunshine dressed the lawns and trees in green for the occasion.

St Elizabeth Hospital began as a maternity hospital but in response to other needs has developed over the past 10 years into a general hospital, while maintaining its specialization in Mother and Child Care. The hospital is a reference point for the people of Hyderabad. Through its Mobile Medical Outreach Programme it provides free medical care to more than 50,000 desperately poor, needy and “socially ignored” people in one of the least-developed areas of the Sindh province. 

The hospital is known because, in the Christian perspective of compassion, it offers free home-based palliative care with pain control therapy to cancer patients. This is an absolute first at a national level and confirms the hospital as a valuable institution for Hyderabad, the province of Sindh and for all of Pakistan. It is not only a hospital but also an institute for the training of nurses and midwives. More than 680 qualified midwives have trained at St Elizabeth School of Midwifery and now serve throughout Pakistan in hospitals and clinics.

Fr McCulloch said to Fides: "I am very happy on the opening of this new Emergency Room. It comes from the vision of Eric Siraj, the Hospital Administrator, the planning of his staff, and his urging that I ‘Please find the funds’. I am glad I did. I am grateful to our donors and benefactors. The new Emergency Room will offer immediate care to all those who need it.” "Our hospital” he continued, “will always offer care with passion, compassion and competence to anyone in need. Through this work, it gives glory to God and witnesses to the Gospel of love and mercy in Pakistan".

St Elizabeth Hospital is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Hyderabad and is managed by its own Board of Directors, headed by the Bishop, and has its own administration. Fr Robert continued: “The doctors and medical staff at St Elizabeth are Muslim, Hindu and Christian working together. Several of the hospital’s nursing staff have done clinical attachments in palliative care and infection control procedures at Catholic hospitals in Singapore and Melbourne where they have been able to speak and share about the work of the hospital.”

Agenzia Fides, www.fides.org/en, September 15, 2020.

Dr. Sajid Naqvi & Naeem Samuel (nurse) providing emergency care at SEH. Photo: Fr Robert McCulloch SSC

Dr. Sajid Naqvi & Naeem Samuel (nurse) providing emergency care at SEH. Photo: Fr Robert McCulloch SSC

The new Emergency Room at St Elizabeth Hospital has “come to be” due to generous donations received. St Elizabeth receives no assistance from the Government of Pakistan. Through very careful cost-management, it is able to pay its running costs but depends upon donations for 100% of costs of the Mobile Medical Outreach Programme and the Palliative Care Service and for 80% of the costs of the School of Midwifery. 

Much still has to be done: urgent flood control measures, building and equipping another operating theatre and two more wards, purchasing a lift to move patients from the operating theatres to the wards and continuing the staff development programmes. St Elizabeth is compliant with the requirements of the Australian Charities and Not-for Profit Commission for Child and Vulnerable Persons Protection and for Anti-graft and financial transparency.

Listen to "A new Emergency Room"

Related links

The Far East - New Subscription

Code : 4

In Stock | MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION

$4.00  

The Far East magazine is published by St Columbans Mission Society 8 times per year. It features mission articles and photographs by Columban Missionaries from the countries where they work.

Price excludes postage (postage within Australia $1.75 per issue or International $9.00 per issue)

See all products