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Pakistan has only 160 neurosurgeons that constitutes a ratio of one surgeon for 5.5 million population thus government needs to take necessary measures for producing more neurosurgeons so as present ratio could be enhanced to World Health Organisation (WHO) standard of 1:5.5 million people.

Head Department of Neurosurgery Lahore General Hospital, Lahore Professor Dr Tariq Salah ud Din who is also course co-ordinator of International Neurosurgery Education Course to be held in the provincial metropolis from February 24 to 26, disclosed this while talking to Business Recorder, here on Tuesday.

Pakistan entered the arena of neurosurgery in 1992 because of Professor Dr Iftikhar Ali Raja who opened the corridor to the western countries and now we are in a position to opt technology transfer to facilitate the head injuries patients in Pakistan, he added.

Dr Salah ud Din further said that there are 28 training centres across the country, mostly in Punjab where 2-3 neurosurgeons are produced every year which is substantially below the required strength as compared to any developed or civilised society.

'We have requested the provincial government to set up Institute of Neuro Sciences at the Lahore General Hospital with the facility of 400 beds at a cost of Rs 1.8 billion which would consist multi disciplines including neuro sciences, neurosurgery, neuro trauma, neurology, pediatric neurosurgery, neuropathology, neuro anaesthesiology and rehabilitation centre. We also recommended provision of neurosurgery facility at every teaching hospital', he said. He stressed the need for having satellite units for head and spinal emergencies on smaller scale so that the patients could be provided necessary treatment before shifting to the proposed institute.

Presently, Lahore General Hospital provides service to outdoor neurosurgery 55,000 patients annually which is unprecedented turnover in any single hospital in the world. We admit 12,000 patients in a year in the neurosurgery Unit having a total capacity of 200 beds and conduct 3400 to 4000 operations per year. The neurosurgery emergency is handling admission of 50-60 patients per day and operate 5-10 patients every night, he maintained.

About the quality of treatment, he said the rate of infection and mortality is as low in the elective cases as any of the developed country but we lack in providing state-of-the-art facility to the patient at intensive care unit because of inherent deficiency in our system.

Moreover, World Federation of Neurosurgical Society (WFNS) is going to hold 3-day Neurosurgery Educational Course from February 24-26 and President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf is expected to grace this occasion. Neurosurgeons from 17 countries of the world are participating in the course.

During this three-day activity, the delegates will read out their papers on latest developments in the fields of research and treatment of disorders of central nervous system, brain, spinal cord like tumours, brain hemorrhage, encephalitis, pediatric neurological diseases, treatment of Parkinson's Disease through non-surgical techniques like Radio surgery and Trigeminal Neuralgia and head and spinal cord injuries. About 50 delegates from abroad and 250 to 300 from Pakistan are expected to participate in the course.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2007

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