After India recently imposed visa restrictions, the Turkish government on Tuesday extended special packages to Pakistani patients seeking liver transplants.
A high-level Turkish delegation led by Health Director General Oner Guner met with the Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar in Islamabad on Tuesday. Tarar told the Turkish delegation that each year 1,500 Pakistani patients seek liver transplants.
Guner said that since Turkey enjoys a special relationship with Pakistan, it was extending special discounted packages for Pakistani patients. The packages are expected to range from Rs3.69 million to Rs6.85 million at various private and public hospitals in Turkey.
The two sides agreed that special assessment centres would be established across the country to assess the number of patients seeking liver treatment.
Moreover, particulars of special visa for Pakistani patients was also discussed.
The Turkish side has offered to build capacity and to train Pakistani doctors apart from facilitating the establishment of facilities which can conduct liver transplant operations in the country. Earlier, a briefing was given by Dr Razia Safdar, the director of the Institute of the health ministry, pertaining to challenges currently being faced by patients across the country.
Currently, there is only one facility in the government sector which offers liver transplant treatment in the country, in Sheikh Zayed hospital. According to rough estimates, about 350 Pakistani undergo liver transplants annually and half of them go abroad, with India an overwhelming favourite destination.
Correspondent. Turkey comes to the rescue of Pakistani liver patients. The Express Tribune, July 26, 2017.