Princess Zahra Aga Khan arrived in Mumbai on 19 February to visit the Prince Aly Khan Hospital (PAKH). The hospital is undergoing an expansion of its facilities, and Princess Zahra is the Chair of the Steering Committee for its redevelopment.
Opened on 30 June 1965, the Ismailia General Hospital started as a 16-bed facility in a rented flat in the Dongri area of Mumbai. It moved to the Aga Hall Estate in Mazgaon, Mumbai – grounds donated by Prince Aly Khan, who performed its foundation laying ceremony on 17 January 1955.
Today, Prince Aly Khan Hospital is a 162 bed, ISO certified, acute care, multi-specialty facility that aims to provide the highest standard of healthcare to all sections of society. Placing a particular emphasis on ethics and quality of service, the hospital also engages in education and research.
The new vision for the hospital will see it match the highest international standards of healthcare, research and medical education. Its new capacity will enable it to deliver increased access to high quality medical care for members of the Jamat and the wider community. As Head of the Social Welfare Department at Aiglemont, Princess Zahra oversees the work of the Aga Khan Health Services, the Aga Khan Education Services and Aga Khan Planning and Building Services. Together with members of the Steering Committee, she visited the Prince Aly Khan Hospital on the morning of 20 February 2012.
The visitors toured the newly expanded, state of the art, cardiac post-surgical intensive care unit. Additional beds will assist the unit in growing its popular cardiac surgery programme that provides high quality, yet affordable cardiac surgical services. They also visited the new, critical care unit. The hospital management explained that its commissioning will raise the critical care bed complement of PAKH to 27, enabling the hospital to meet the growing need for critical care in Mumbai.
At the conclusion of the PAKH visit, Princess Zahra toured the Aga Hall Estate and greeted members of the Jamat living in the vicinity.
Later in the day, Princess Zahra visited new developments within the city, including the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Amabani Hospital, to evaluate current health care facilities available in Mumbai. She was welcomed by Mrs Tina Anil Ambani along with a cohort of senior doctors who gave Princess Zahra and the Steering Committee a complete tour of the hospital and its facilities.
Princess Zahra spent Tuesday in meetings with the Steering Committee, the working group and the board of Aga Khan Health Service, India deliberating on future plans for the expansion of Prince Aly Khan Hospital. They focused on options to put in place systems and programmes, as per Mawlana Hazar Imam's guidance, which would impact the entire Jamat and the community at large for many generations to come.