Al-Shifa Trust has embarked on a new plan to cope with the increasing number of eye patients. An extension block at Chakwal Eye Hospital will be completed by the end of this year with an OPD capacity of 500 patients per day, while another hospital is being planned at Gilgit with the help of a donor organisation. This was stated by Al-Shifa Trust President Maj. Gen. (Retd) Rehmat Khan while briefing media persons about the development. He said that the new block at Chakwal Eye Hospital will be completed at a cost of Rs 150 million that has been donated by one family, which is highly laudable. The number of patients is increasing every year; therefore, we have to increase our capacity as we are already providing services to 1.3 million people annually, Rehmat Khan added. Apart from the extension of the Chakwal Hospital, plan for a new 50-bed hospital is being finalised at Gilgit, and these two projects will enable the trust to provide services to an additional two hundred thousand people, he informed. He said that due to the extension of the hospital at Chakwal, Retina and glaucoma patients will also be treated. Maj Gen (Retd) Rehmat Khan said that besides this, an outreach team will be deployed in the villages near Chakwal to conduct school screening. And pick-up and drop-off facilities will be offered to serious patients. To reduce the waiting time at Rawalpindi Hospital, a new OPD block will be constructed with a capacity of treating 1000 patients per day, while the operation tables are being increased to 29. The president said that under the development plan, eight more experts will be inducted at Kohat Hospital, and the number of catract surgeries will be increased.The outreach team will be available for far-flung areas. As far as Muzaffarabad Hospital is concerned, the outreach team is already performing duties. The target for this year is 300 OPDs per day and 25-30 surgeries a day, he said. He informed that 11 eye specialists are already treating patients at Sukkar Hospital, and by October, corneal transplants will be introduced there. Al-Shifa President told journalists that over the last 30 years, the Al-Shifa Trust has treated 30 million patients free of charge, a service worth Rs 13 billion. Thousands of glaucoma, retina and cancer surgeries are also included in this free treatment. He said that to cope with the increasing number of eye patients, the government should come forward and provide latest eye treatment facilities at the district level.