Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) Vice Chancellor Prof Mohammad Saeed Quraishy on Sunday said that at least 3,000-4,000 community medicine centres with all the comprehensive primary health facilities, including diagnostic services, consultation clinics, pharmacy services and other facilities, were required in the country to lower the disease burden on tertiary-care hospitals and reduce the death and disability because of preventable diseases.“Community medicine centres are need of the hour in Pakistan where comprehensive healthcare facilities, including the diagnostic services, consultation, telemedicine and pharmacy are provided under one roof. Such centres will not only reduce burden on tertiary-care hospitals but would also be helpful in lowering death and disability due to preventable diseases,” he said after inaugurating the Ehad Medical Centre, a community medicine centre in FB Area, Karachi. He said that Dow University of Health Sciences would provide the diagnostic services at the Ehad Medical Centre (EMC), a new chain of community medicine centres established with public-private partnership, where top of the line consultants would be available, while patients would also be able to consult international experts in the United States, United Kingdom, Turkey and anywhere in the world through telemedicine.Organisers plan to establish 10 such centres in Karachi within a year and 100 such centres throughout the country in next 3-5 years where patients will also be able to consult doctors while sitting at their homes, while medicines will be delivered to their doorsteps through dispatch riders on the same day or latest by the next day. Prof Quraishy said Dow University had also established two such community centres in low-income group communities in Karachi, but they lacked such comprehensive primary healthcare facilities like Ehad Medical Centre. He hoped that with the help of philanthropists, more such community centres would be established in different areas to benefit the community and provide them all health solutions under one roof.Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) President Prof Abdul Basit, who would be heading the clinical side of the chain of Ehad Medical Centres in the country, deplored that national institutes of cardiovascular diseases, urology and transplantation and ophthalmology centres were overwhelmed with patients whose diseases were preventable and added that patients had no other option other than to approach the tertiary-care hospitals to seek advanced medical assistance and treatment on state’s expenses. “Thousands of heart attacks, kidney failures, amputations of lower limbs and blindness can be prevented if people are provided comprehensive primary healthcare facilities and services closer to their homes. These are preventable diseases and can easily be prevented by setting up primary healthcare facilities like Ehad Medical Centre throughout the country,” Prof Abdul Basit said, adding that such centres would also result in improved healthcare services at the tertiary-care facilities.The eminent dialectologist maintained that standardised healthcare at the primary centres could not only lower the incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, kidney failures and blindness but would also reduce the disease burden on the country’s fragile health system and hoped that Ehad would come up to the expectations of the community in alleviating their sufferings.