UAE: This Medical Center Offers Free Treatment to Thousands of Residents

UAE: This Medical Center Offers Free Treatment to Thousands of Residents

The facility boasts 18 distinct medical fields, an on-site laboratory equipped with radiology services, and a dedicated physiotherapy section.

The UAE stands as an exemplary symbol of tolerance, coexistence, and inclusivity. If you want to witness this firsthand, the Pakistan Medical Centre in Oud Metha, Dubai, is the place to visit.

As the first not-for-profit medical center initiated by a community in the entire Gulf region, this facility extends free medical care to thousands of UAE residents from diverse national backgrounds, including Asians, Africans, and Arabs every year.

Dr. Faisal Ikram, the President of Pakistan Association Dubai, emphasized the center's remarkable diversity, stating,

"We have approximately 44 distinguished doctors hailing from various nations such as India, Europe, Arab countries, Italy, and more, who volunteer their services here. Our staff also represents a wide range of nationalities, making this establishment a genuine model of tolerance and inclusion."

Regarding the patient demographics, the center serves people from over 80 different nationalities. In the previous year, approximately 22,000 patients received treatment, with a target of reaching 30,000 this year. A significant portion, roughly 50-60% (15,000-18,000 patients), receives free treatment, while the remainder pays through cash or insurance.

The primary nationalities benefiting from the Medical Centre's welfare treatment include citizens of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Emiratis. Dr. Faisal explained,

"This is largely because the costs are heavily subsidized, often falling below the co-payment patients make at hospitals. Importantly, patients here receive top-notch care from the best doctors."

Dr. Faisal himself specializes in bariatric and general surgeries and also practices at Mediclinic.

Operating as a part of the Pakistan Association Dubai, the Pakistan Medical Centre (PMC) offers a wide range of medical services. PMC boasts 18 specialized medical departments, an in-house laboratory equipped with radiology services, and a dedicated physiotherapy department. Importantly, PMC's services are not limited to Pakistani nationals but are open to individuals of all nationalities. Those who cannot afford to cover their medical expenses receive free treatment, while others benefit from subsidized rates.

Dr. Faisal further disclosed that PMC has plans to expand its services by incorporating a pharmacy within its facilities later this year.

1st platform for volunteering doctors

The first-ever platform for volunteer doctors in the UAE, the Pakistan Medical Centre (PMC), stands as the pioneering institutionalized volunteering platform for healthcare professionals in the region. This platform presents a unique opportunity for healthcare practitioners, including doctors from various hospitals, to engage in volunteering activities, subject to approvals from the Dubai Health Authority and their employers.

Dr. Faisal emphasized that PMC collaborates with healthcare providers and other institutions as partners rather than competitors. This partnership model allows these organizations to fulfill their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and enables their staff to participate in volunteer work at PMC.

Furthermore, PMC extends its outreach by offering two-week internship programs designed for high school students. These programs offer students a chance to gain insights into medical centers and experience the workings of community centers. Dr. Faisal also mentioned future plans to partner with a local university, enabling medical students to engage in community work as part of their summer attachments. Such community involvement aligns with the requirements of medical schools to expose their students to community-oriented healthcare practices. PMC's efforts also extend to reaching out to labor camps, expanding their impact and support within the community.

Serving humanity for decades

Dedicated to serving humanity for many decades, Dr. Faisal's journey in volunteerism began during the 2010 floods in Pakistan when he joined the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) as a volunteer. Initially, the Pakistan Medical Centre (PMC) was established to support the Pakistani community, but it later expanded its services to benefit other communities in the UAE.

Remarkably, the organization operates entirely through the efforts of volunteers, including the advisory board, board of directors, and PAD council. However, to ensure the smooth functioning of operations, approximately 70 individuals are employed within the organization.

Dr. Faisal's commitment to community welfare traces back to his role as the president of the Patient Welfare Society in school, where he was actively involved in blood donation drives, fundraising initiatives, and assisting patients. This passion for social work was further fueled by his father's involvement in social work in Sialkot, Pakistan, as well as his own volunteer experience with 'Gift of the Givers.'

Upon his arrival in the UAE, Dr. Faisal became a part of the Pakistan Association Dubai and played a pivotal role in enhancing the community's trust and confidence in the Association and PMC.

In his capacity as the president, Dr. Faisal dedicates approximately 3-4 hours of his daily schedule to PAD. He firmly believes that everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, and the key lies in prioritizing and making one's time purposeful. He emphasizes the importance of having a specific cause and purpose to make the most of one's time, contrasting it with spending idle hours watching TV or engaging in unproductive activities like aimless shopping.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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