ILLM: a hospital in the loving memory of forefathers to help people

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Just a few yards away from a main roundabout on Gurumangat road in Gulberg III, the building lies at a very prime location. It could have been used for big businesses to make maximum money. Luck is that it is located in the commercial area of the city having tall buildings all around. Firdous Market is just one-minute drive on the left side of it.

People coming from Nishat Colony or the residents of the Gurumangat road use this road where the building lies to move around. A flyover connects Firdous Market to the Cantonment area. Hustle and bustle have made it more attractive for commercial activities. A small vendor there makes money beyond his expectations. Unlike many other parts of the area, it is the only place which the laborers also see as the most suitable point to find work to make good money because of the rush of the people-a reason that attracts the investors.

But it is Gulberg Health Complex-a charity hospital for the treatment of poor and needy people, with a number of facilities including Tuberculosis, family doctor, dental surgery, public health, free medicine, mother and child clinic, Tell-e-medicine, consultant clinic. Ultrasound and X-ray facilities are also there for free.


“We’ve built it on the idea of a UK health system,” said Dr. Khurram Shahzad, the Chief Executive Officer of International Institute of Learning Medicine (ILLM). He had spent more than 20 years in Ireland as a child specialist, pathologist, emergency medicine expert and consultant.

“It is basically in the loving memory of my father Dr. Abdul Sattar Khan and the forefathers of my friends who donate wholeheartedly for this hospital to treat patients,” he said, sharing the reason for the project.

Dr. Abdus Sattar Khan had run his clinic at the same place for 40 years to help the people and Dr. Khurram-who became a source of inspiration for many others-has expanded it into a big project with the same passion. Many big names in the medical profession and businessmen have joined hands, with a pure intention of serving the marginalized people.

“National Health System is the UK’s system which is very effective. But it haunts us when we see our people in the home country suffering due to lack of health facilities,” Dr. Khurram regrets.

The health system in the UK and other developed states, he states, is dependent upon three components including pre-hospital, emergency care and clinical excellence.

Big names in the medical profession and businessmen have joined hands with him to make it a reality. Dr. Irfan Ahmed, Director World Health Organization, has also joined the hospital as a consultant. Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Dr. Shehla Javed Akram, Dr. Haq Nawaz Bharwana, Dr Asim Mahmood, Dr. Hamayun Taimoor, Dr. Hassan Raza and many others have presented themselves to check and treat the patients voluntarily. Mr. Ali Sajjad, the Editor-in-Chief daily MinuteMirror, has also lent his support for this great charity work.

Pakistan Anti TB Association has also  started working with IILM besides the Edhi Foundation. Salman Chugtai who owns a larger laboratory chain has also announced his full support for the hospital by offering free medical tests.

“Only one thing we want in our beloved homeland. A health system which could ensure healthcare to all,” says Dr. Khurram.

He explains his vision for the health sector in Pakistan.

“From the day a child is conceived till his last breath-a comprehensive health system is that we want,” he says.

Going into details as to why the organization that is looking after the affairs of the charity hospital has been named as International Institute of Learning Medicine (IILM), Dr. Khuram says that it is embedded with some “spiritual connections”.

“Alif-lam -Meem-is visible there in our logo and right beneath it is the world ain-lam-meem which is Ilm (knowledge)-and it is quite clear to every conscious person that “who is the gate to the city of knowledge”.

Dr. Khurram Shahzad emphasizes upon education and learning.

Talking about Pakistan’s health system, he  believes that it needs a proper governance system and clinical excellence.

He says, “Pakistan can have the best health system only if we focus on the best governance system and clinical excellence,”.

“We need to focus on learning that we have ignored,” he adds.

Fida Hussnain is a correspondent covering judiciary, politics, business and health issues. He is also a feature writer and researcher with major work on freedom of press in Pakistan. He tweets @fidahassanain and can be reached at