​Islamabad still awaiting new mortuary

January 13, 2014 - 6:50:30 am

ISLAMABAD: The construction of a new mortuary in Islamabad at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital has been awaiting approval for two years, during which time the cost of the project has doubled to Rs40m.

Currently, PIMS can accommodate 10 bodies in its mortuary, which is not sufficient. Therefore, it was decided to construct a new mortuary in which 48 bodies could be placed.

A doctor at PIMS, requesting anonymity, said the decision was made following the Air Blue plane crash in Margalla Hills in July 2010, in which 152 passengers and crew died.

“Most of the patients belonged to Karachi and northern areas of the country. It was impossible to immediately identify the bodies, so PIMS had no option but to put these bodies in the mortuary,” he said. 

The doctor said the mortuary could not accommodate so many bodies. “We then involved the district administration, and in the end the bodies were shifted to cold storages (used to store vegetables and fruits). Several bodies could not be identified and, after a few weeks, were buried in a graveyard,” he said.

The PIMS management then considered the construction of a new mortuary. “A proposal was sent to the then Ministry of Capital Administration and Development and Rs20m were sought for the construction. We have still not received a reply even after two years,” he said.

Dr Mehmood Jamal, Executive Director, PIMS, said, “Although it is an important project, I have been giving more importance to issues such as the extension of the emergency department.”