EducationGilgit - Baltistan

Isn’t it the right time for creating tertiary care medical facilities in Gilgit-Baltistan?

Islamabad: Up until 1978 there was not even a single qualified local specialist available in whole of GB. Dr Shah Farman from Punyal (Ghizer) was the first to obtain FCPS in Medicine. Currently, however, the situation has change drastically across Pakistan, as well as Gilgit-Baltistan.

Recently, a consultant physician from GB was conferred with his second FCPS  Degree in Pulmonology  and fortunately he became the first  GBian to get this in a sub-specialty. It is startling to note that not more than 61 doctors have qualified as FCPS Pumonolgy in Pakistan  since 1962 .

Dr. Inaam Baig receiving his second FRCS degree
Dr. Inam Muhammad Baig receiving his second FRCS degree

Dr. Inam Muhammad Baig was born at Hyderabad Hunza,  and completed his basic education in the village primary school. Passed Matric and FSc from Public  School Jutial Gilgit in 1983 and 1985, respectively , as first in both of them  among  all GBian Students. He later joined Army Medical College leaving King Edward’s Medical College Lahore  in 1986. He was only the second medical Student at Army Medical College from GB at that time.

He acquired FCPS in General Medicine in 2001 and became the first Pulmonologist from GB after acquiring 2nd FCPS in Pulmonology in 2012.  He Currently works in the Army Medical Corps as a consultant physician and Pumonologist.

The two other consultant medical specialists from GB acquiring their  2nd FCPS  before  Dr. Baig  are   Dr. Tariq from Bunji (in Neurology ) and Dr. Riaz from Gilgit (in Oncology ). Both of them are also serving in Army Medical Corps of Pakistan.

Interestingly, and by good chance, like in the field of mountaineering, the medical intellectuals of  GB serving in Army Medical Corps have  a fair contribution  to their organization; since the birth of Army Medical College in 1977, two of its Principals have been from GB, including the current one, i,e, Lieut. General Salman Ali.

There are other very senior consultants from GB serving in different Cities of Pakistan. To mention a few, Professor Dr. Inanyat Ullah Baig works as head of surgical department at a Federal Govt Hospital in Islamabad and has been contributing a lot.   Dr. Rahman Alvi, Associate Professor at the AKU Hospital Karachi, is a very competent Surgeon and Medical Teacher.

Similarly, we have very experienced medical administrators like Brig (r) Ahmed Khan from Bunji and Brig(r) Ghulam Mehdi from Hunza.

With the above very brief background , it is really a time to start thinking for inception of a medical college and a high quality tertiary care teaching hospital in Gilgit-Baltistan to better serve our future generations and to save our present  population from the tough time of travelling downward to various cities due to lack of facilities at home.

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  1. We need to prepare mentally for the option of TELE-MEDICINE in our region. Facilities are ripe but MINDSET needs change.

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