As originally published in Synergyzer Issue 3 – 2016
Mr. MR Monem, Chairman of The Patients’ Behbud Society for AKUH
What is the vision and mission of the Patient’s Behbud Society program?
The Patients’ Behbud Society for Aga Khan University Hospital was established in 2001 for the purpose of helping mustehiq patients to receive quality medical treatment at the Aga Khan University Hospital, its clinics, and medical centers through collection and disbursement of Zakat. Alhumdulillah, since its inception, the Society has provided Rs. 829 million in financial support that has benefitted more than 28,000 mustehiq patients.
What is the structure of PBS? How is decision making carried out?
PBS is an independent, charitable society registered under the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration & Control) Ordinance 1961 and the Pakistan Centre of Philanthropy. PBS is governed by its members who are well respected and well-known personalities of Pakistan, who collectively decide on, without any discrimination, the most deserving patients eligible for Zakat on a case to case basis.
What are the mechanics of PBS in terms of disbursement of medical financial aid to those who can’t afford treatment?
We have a meticulous process for assessing the financial need of deserving patients. After consultations with physicians and surgeons, patients receive estimates for treatment. Those who cannot afford the prescribed treatment are guided to visit the welfare office where they are evaluated by an officer from the department the same day and asked for certain documents to verify their financial position. A few additional questions are also asked to assess Zakat eligibility of patients. As soon as welfare officers verify the eligibility of any claim, financial assistance is provided.
I shall emphasize that this entire process is