With just four months remaining in the launch of the first ever not-for-profit Pakistan Medical Center (PMC), the Pakistan Association Dubai (Pad) on Thursday held a community event that saw over 300 community members as well as renowned TV personality Bushra Ansari, who came all the way from Pakistan to rally support for the centre.
The upcoming centre will be a first non-profit healthcare facility in the GCC put together by any expatriate community and is expected to be open to public in August this year.
The centre building will also house an office block, a mosque and a restaurant on the ground floor, while the first floor will have a medical centre, fitness and rehabilitation centre, meeting rooms and a children’s play area. All contributions towards the project can be made to Dar Al Ber account for Pakistan Medical Centre.
Pad is campaigning for the centre through its ‘own a brick’ initiative that offers community members 15,000 bricks, with each brick costing Dh1,000, in order to meet the total cost of Dh15 million for the construction of the building.
The gala dinner on Thursday held at the Five Palm Jumeirah began with a panel discussion with people who are closely associated in supporting and creating awareness about PMC – – Dr Nighat Aftab, consultant gynecologist at Latifa Hospital and president of Pad’s medical wing; consultant and Pad member Amjad Ali Khan; Pad member and sponsor of the event Najam Khawaja and Dr Nasim Sabir, pathologist at Zia Medical Centre and executive chairman of PMC.
Talking about the need of PMC, Dr Aftab said : “The need to build the medical complex arises given the huge number of poor patients turn up to attend the medical camp arranged by Pakistan medical wing at PAD during the last weekend of every month. Since 2009, we have received more than 26,000 partients at 150 free medical camps. The medical centre will serve like any other polyclinic delivering services through different tiers, offering free services to all needy people who seek medical help, irrespective of their nationality, ethnicity, religion economic status, or age.”
The campaign was an opportunity for anyone to either own a single or multiple bricks and be part of a larger cause.
Pad president Dr Faisel Ikram gave a short presentation on the progress of the centre urging the community to support PMC that managed to get Dh11.9 million of the Dh15 million target by way of the ‘own a brick’ initiative and that only Dh3.1 million was left now.
“The Pakistan Medical Centre will be serving people of all nationalities and it will be a centre of excellence. It is heartening to see the community come together and believing in the cause of not for profit healthcare facility. The project is on track and we plan to inaugurate in August this year. In the 15000 bricks (Dh15million) project, there is still 3,000 bricks ( Dh3million) – left that we aim raise from the community. There are still so many people out there who don’t know about the project and we want to reach out to them through such events. Pad has Dar Al Ber society as its charity partner, and we would want the corporates to also contribute and play a role in this landmark cause.”
“Open to all nationalities, the Pakistan Medical Centre will serve people of all backgrounds and contribute to the UAE’s vision of tolerance and social cohesion.
The event – that was sponsored by Najam Khawaja along with art platform Poetic Strokes – helped Pad secure 500 bricks ( Dh500,000) for the operations of the upcoming medical centre.
On her part, Ansari entertained the audience with her tongue in cheek comedy. Speaking about the PMC cause, she said: “The PMC is such a noble initiative taken up by Pad as it aims to benefit not only Pakistanis but also aims to help anyone and everyone in need of medical help.I feel Pakistanis in Dubai are doing more for their community than Pakistanis living in their homeland. It is commendable that you all living in a comfortable place and environment yet think about those less privileged.”
Ansari was recently in news as a video of her’s went viral on social media, where she along with her sister created a rap song titled Humsaye Maa Jaye (Children of the Same Soil) to spread message of peace and love between India and Pakistan.