Dubai: More than 300 patients benefited form the free medical camp set up by the medical wing of the Pakistan Association Dubai (Pad) on Friday.
Held at the Pad auditorium in Oud Metha, the monthly camp saw patients get free consultations and treatment from 25 specialist doctors.
The camps are held on the last Fridays of every month, to benefit those who cannot afford basic health care.
“We have a pool of 50 doctors who dedicate their time on the last Friday of every month for those who can’t afford basic health care. We serve 300 to 350 patients in these camps, with issues ranging from diabetes, hypertension, urology, ophthalmology, skin care etc,” said Dr. Nighat Aftab, president of Pad’s medical wing.
Apart from offering free consultations, doctors at the camp advice patients on various conditions and offer follow-up treatment at their respective clinics for nominal fees.
“All our doctors are specialists working with private hospitals and clinics. They provide basic care at the camps, but if the patients require further treatment they take care of them at their respective clinics or refer them to our health care partner,” said Dr. Aftab.
The camp also offers basic dental care as well as eye care, with patients even getting free eyeglasses if required.
Free medicines are also provided on occasions when Pad has the budget, or when the organisation receives enough donations from philanthropists.
Apart from doctors, the camp is managed by volunteers including students and community members.
“More than 50 volunteers take part in the camp, assisting patients at every step. Most of these volunteers are students as we encourage them to take part in the community service and train them to work for social causes,” said Tayyab Sheraz, executive member of Pad and one of the camp organisers.
The medical wing of Pad has served over 25,000 patients in almost 100 free medical camps since 2009, and the regular campaign is now transforming into the not-for-profit Pakistan Medical Centre, set to open on August 14, 2019.
“We have around 500 doctors registered with us and this entire campaign is driven by doctors committed to serving those community members who can’t afford quality health care. The idea of the medical centre blossomed over the years, as the growing popularity of the health camps made us realise the need of a permanent solution for the poor,” added Sheraz.
Once the medical centre starts functioning, the monthly camp will cease. Almost 50 per cent work on the centre is complete.
Funds for the multi-specialty centre was raised through a novel ‘own-a-brick’ campaign, which allowed community members and philanthropists to contribute in the construction by owning the bricks, priced at Dh1,000 each.
Work on the Dh12 million two-storey facility is in full swing and Pad hopes the remaining of the 12,000 bricks, being offered to raise funds, will be taken up by the community members soon.
Local hospitals such as Mediclinic City Hospital, Saudi German Hospital, RAK College of Dentistry and Supervision Opticals have already pledged support towards the community health care facility.
The medical centre, being built in cooperation with Community Development Authority (CDA), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Dubai Economic Department, Dar Al Ber Society and Emirates Red Crescent, will serve like any other polyclinic delivering services through different tiers, and offering free services to needy people of all nationalities.
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.