Access to Healthcare
Access to healthcare systems and services is critical for Pakistani Christians. Pakistan Christian Outreach Foundation was recently approached to provide support for renovating, reviving and revitalizing the United Christian Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan. To learn more, please watch the video below:
Partnership Request for the Restoration
of "Nursing School" at
United Christian Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
Brief history and overview
The British Government announced a plan for the partitioning of Colonial India in the mid 1940’s. This partition plan was based on the religious affiliations of its people. In 1947, combined India became India and Pakistan, resulting in a major migration of millions of people. Hindus and Sikhs migrated in large numbers to India and Muslims migrated in large numbers to Pakistan. Christians were left to find a home for themselves in either land, but were not truly represented in either.
According to some records, the bloodshed that took place during this period of migration in the run up to the creation of the two countries was gruesome. The terrible pain and suffering endured by millions of people has been well recorded in the history books.
There were a lot of injured, hungry, distressed and sick people among the newcomers to Pakistan from India who needed to be taken care of.
The United Presbyterian Church was well established in both countries, especially in the northwest province of Punjab. In Lahore, Pakistan, the Forman Christian College run by the Presbyterian Church in Pakistan was one of the first sites to tend to the wounded and the sick during the migration period.
United Christian Hospital history
The story of United Christian Hospital starts in 1947 when the dormitories of Forman Christian College were turned into a makeshift hospital, in order to provide medical attention to the hundreds and thousands of injured and sick newcomers from India into Pakistan.
Shortly thereafter, missionaries from several world denominations present in Pakistan at the time decided to join hands and establish the first Christian hospital of its kind in Pakistan. The two most prominent denominations were the Presbyterian and the Methodist Churches in America. They were joined by the Reformed Church of Netherlands, Bread for the World in Germany, and the Methodist Church of Scotland.
In 1964, a brand new building was constructed with a 250 bed capacity. This building still exists today in the heart of Lahore, Pakistan, a city that houses over 12 million people right now.
United Christian Hospital has the honors of being the first hospital in Pakistan to conduct an open heart surgery in 1966. Over 3,000 procedures were done annually in the 1960s and 1970s, including the delivery of over 500 babies each year, eye care procedures and other major surgeries. In addition, landmark progress was made in the areas of Orthopedics and Physiotherapy.
A school to train medical technicians and nurses was also established within the halls of the United Christian Hospital. This school served the Pakistani Christian community by training and educating young men and women who have gone on to change the economic and the financial conditions for themselves and their families. It's a great story of self sustainability.
Unfortunately, the political climate of Pakistan started to change in the early '70s. The governing administration of Bhutto decided to nationalize Christian institutions in Pakistan. They started with the government takeover of the educational institutions and soon expanded their control to include all other Christian institutions, including those in the healthcare industry, which up until that time had been run privately and mostly by Christian missionaries from overseas.
Due to this volatile situation in Pakistan, most missionaries who were serving in these institutions chose to leave Pakistan, as they didn't feel safe in this new hostile environment. The financial foreign missionary aid that was vital for the operation of a medical institution like the United Christian Hospital also slowly stopped.
Since the 1980s, the United Christian Hospital has struggled to survive. Much needed upgrades to the building itself and the equipment have been put off over the last 25 years, and the hospital shows many signs of age and decay.
As a country, Pakistan has also gone through some really rough times since the 1980s, due in large part to political uncertainty and the influence of outside forces like radicalism and terrorism. Since around 2015, Pakistan has started to be revitalized. More reasonable and mainstream politicians, many educated in Pakistan’s elite Christian educational institutions, have been elected to serve in the government, and they have worked hard to stabilize the country and re-establish relationships with European countries and North America. Since the 2010s, Pakistan has been perceived to be going in the right direction and so it is once again regarded as a safe country to do business with.
The Pakistan Christian Outreach Foundation, a non-profit in the U.S. with a 501(c)(3) status, was approached early in 2020 by the hospital's Board of Directors and administration; they were asked to join hands and assist with raising funds for much needed upgrades and restoration operations of the United Christian Hospital.
What is encouraging is that locally in Pakistan, several hundred volunteers and church leaders have started to assist with the restoration as well. Although they have begun the process of restoration, they need a lot more financial assistance than what they can raise locally.
Pakistan Christian Outreach Foundation has taken the primary responsibility of making improvements and upgrades to the school of nursing within the hospital premises.
On September 12th, 2020 P.C.O.F. Board members and the Country Coordinator visited the Hospital and presented an initial check to launch a partnership with U.C.H. The Foundation toured the premises, and hospital management conveyed their wishlist items in regards to the nursing school to the Foundation.
We would appreciate your financial assistance for this noble cause. In addition to needing repairs and infrastructure upgrades to the building itself, the nursing school requires upgrades to its dorms, with new bunk beds needed for each room, and new computers and books are needed for the nursing school library.
Let's join hands, work together and change lives again with the restoration of United Christian Hospital.
Pakistan Christian Outreach Foundation