LAHORE: Shifa International Hospitals is set for a change in the top-management with the retirement of CEO Dr Manzoor H Qazi, who will step down from his post on the 30th of March next year. Dr Qazi was part of the original team of expat doctors that founded Shifa back in 1985 and is retiring at a time when Shifa is undergoing an awkward financial stage.
A founding member of Shifa International Hospital and a board member since its inception, Dr Qazi was appointed as Chief Executive of the company on 10th October 2011, shortly after the passing of the founder and CEO Dr. Zaheer Ahmed. He will be replaced by Shifa’s current Chief Medical Officer Dr Zeeshan bin Inshtiaque. The decision was taken in the board of directors (BoD) meeting of the company held on Saturday, December 24.
The announcement was made by the company to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) through a notification on Monday. In the same notification, the BoD also decided to divest its investment in its subsidiary Shifa Medical Center Islamabad (Private) Limited and invest more equity in its other subsidiary Shifa National Hospital Faisalabad (Private) Limited. The approval for these investment decisions will need to be taken at the next Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the company.
The company announced the change in management following the retirement of Dr Qazi saying that the company was accepting his retirement with a heavy heart after 35 years of constant service. An Extraordinary General Meeting (EOGM) will now be held seeking approval of the shareholders for the execution of the decisions including the appointment of the new CEO and a change in subsidiary investments.
Just last week, on December 20, the company also announced that its subsidiary company Shifa medical center Islamabad (Private) Limited (in which it holds 56% shareholding) decided to discontinue the hospital project at Sector F-11 Markaz, Islamabad, a project that only started in the last fiscal year of the company ending June 2021.
Instead, the investment from this project will go towards the Faisalabad hospital project that is being developed by another subsidiary of the company, namely Shifa National Hospital Faisalabad (Private) Limited (in which SHFA holds 60% shareholding).
The construction work for the Islamabad and Faisalabad hospital projects was started in the last fiscal year of the company ending June 2021. For now, it appears that the Faisalabad hospital project, which spreads over 49.5 kanals of land, will go forward while the Islamabad project is temporarily stopped.
The company was facing some financial issues related to the two projects during the year due to rising construction costs and rupee devaluation in 2022, which was also foreseen in its latest annual report ending June 2022, “The projects are facing a cost escalation due to high inflation, rupee-dollar parity etc. The Company is contemplating and exploring different options to fund the cost escalation and will revert to the shareholders at an appropriate time for their approval as and when required.”
In its first quarter for the fiscal year 2023, Shifa Hospitals reported a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs 367 million against a PAT of Rs 395 million in the same quarter last year.
History and founders
The idea of Shifa International Hospital was conceived by a team of expatriate healthcare professionals in 1985 in New York, USA, to provide international standard medical care to the people of Pakistan.
The initiator was Dr. Zaheer Ahmad (late founder and President) along with four other professionals who discussed the idea and approved it. The participants included Dr. Manzoor H. Qazi (current CEO), Mr. Muhammad Zahid (board of director), Mr. Samiullah Sharief from Brooklyn, New York, and Dr. Sabir Ali from Palm Bay, Florida. Dr. Zaheer Ahmad was asked to prepare the feasibility report and the action plan. Subsequently Dr. Zaheer Ahmad moved to Islamabad on December 17, 1985 to start the work on this project.
The principal activity of Shifa International Hospitals is to establish and run medical centers and hospitals in Pakistan. The Company established its first hospital in 1993 in H-8/4 Islamabad, second hospital in 2011 in Faisalabad and another in 2014 in G-10/4 Islamabad. The Company is also running medical centers, pharmacies and Lab collection points in different cities of Pakistan.