Monday, 10 July 2017 marks the day when the legendary doctor, surgeon, and education provider Chancellor Prof Dr Fareed Uddin Baqai passed away at the age of 82. The nation will be forever grateful to Prof Fareed Uddin for the establishment of Baqai Medical University. Among the most prestigious medical establishments of the country, Baqai Medical University and its 35 constituent institutions will keep the candle of Dr Baqai’s memory alive and burning.
Dr Fareed Uddin Baqai belonged to an illustrious old family from Delhi, where he was born on 22nd May 1935. When he was 5, Dr Baqai lost his father Nizam Uddin Baqai. During the partition of the subcontinent, Dr Baqai along with his mother and 4 brothers fled to Pakistani territory. His mother raised the family by herself, putting her sons through educational institutes by earning a meagre salary from stitching clothes.
While he was pursuing his MBBS degree, Dr Baqai spent any remaining time doing odd jobs to earn money to support his family. He completed his MBBS from Dow Medical College in 1958. At this time, he began working on his career life and first began work at an optometric facility called “Spencer Eye Hospital”. Dr Baqai always had an inclination towards the field of surgery. When this interest sustained, Dr Baqai became enrolled in the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center where he practiced and studied under Ustaad Dr Col. Saeed Ahmed. Following that, Dr Baqai left for England in 1965 to further pursue his education in surgery and elevate his level of expertise. This is where he soon completed his FRCS and FICS in Edinburgh. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan would go on to make Dr Baqai a “fellow” of FCPS in 1993.
From 1965-1969, Dr Baqai worked in the Pakistani Navy as Surgeon Commander. He served the country well from the Combined Military Hospital in Rawalpindi during the war of 1971. In 1965, Dr Baqai was made secretary of the Pakistan chapter of the International College of Surgeons, and in 1993, he was declared the President of the Pakistan chapter. Dr Baqai hosted the 1985 Asia Pacific Congress of Surgeons. He hosted the Asia Pacific Congress of ICS in 1985. He was the Secretary and then became the President of Society of Surgeons of Pakistan. He was the Convener of the International Conference of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan held in December, 1993.
He has widely travelled, attended a large number of medical conferences and presented papers. He has a number of academic papers and researches to his credit and to date remained the Chairman of Baqai Foundation and Chairman, Department of Surgery of Baqai Medical College.
In 1969 he established Baqai Hospital at Nazimabad and in 1987 he founded Baqai Medical Complex which now consists of Baqai Medical College, Baqai Dental College, Baqai Institute of Health Sciences, Department of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Hematology, Baqai Institute of Medical Technology, Baqai Institute of Oncology and Institute of Nursing. Dr. F. U. Baqai is the pioneer of introducing the concept of Community Oriented Medical Education (COME) in Pakistan.
With sheer perseverance, resilience and firm faith in God, he made himself the man he was to this day. He, however, considered his achievements as a gift of God.