St Joseph's Hospice in Pakistan

The Rawalpindi Hospice now operates independently of the UK serv ices. The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) lead this small, dedicated and close knit community which continues the work of our founder, Father O'Leary. In 1962 Fr. O’Leary realised the need for a hospice when he attended a dying woman near the railway track. By 1964 he and FMM Sister Dolores, from Spain, had established our pioneering Rawalpindi home and registered it as a non-profit organization under the Pakistan Donor Welfare Agencies Ordinance.

The main building, built in 1964 on Church land, was fully funded by MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation. The separate convent building was originally a community hall for the Irish Fusilers who used the church. In the 1970s the nursery block was built to care for children abandoned to the Hospice. More recent construction has included converting an existing dorm room to house school age boys.

  • The Services

    The Hospice provides free care, treatment, rehabilitation and security for destitute residential patients. With various forms of disabling paralysis, chronic illnesses, or suffering from senile dementia, they are often rejected by their families and refused by other hospitals. At St. Joseph’s they become part of a community, supporting and encouraging each other. The children receive an education, and the able adults can be taught skills to earn extra money.

    With its own doctors, laboratory, pharmacy, physical therapy, x-ray, and other treatment facilities, St. Joseph’s is self-contained for most patient needs.

  • Leadership and Staff

    The overall day-to-day responsibility for St. Joseph’s Hospice is in the hands of the Franciscan Nuns of Mary with Sr. Margaret Walsh as Chief Administrator. Other Sisters have responsibility for physiotherapy, pharmacy, the out-patient department, and supervision of the support services staff.

    It takes people with a range of talents and skills to care for the patients and their diverse needs and conditions. The medical team includes two doctors, two staff nurses, 22 male and female nursing aides, two physiotherapists, and laboratory workers. The support services staff consists of 25 employees who handle the office, food service, laundry, grounds and maintenance, tutoring, and other necessary positions. The total staff positions required to support the service exceeds 80.

    In-house Training

    In a country where trained medical help is hard to find it is essential to train new staff members or upgrade skills through in-house training. This training for our nurse aides and volunteer staff is a valuable part of the busy working week. St. Joseph’s has a special classroom dedicated to this training and a cohort of volunteer trainers who offer staff training on a regular basis.

    Volunteers and Committee of Management

    The wonderful, kind hearted volunteers serve in many capacities, working with patients on such projects as knitting and tutoring to training the nursing staff. Their generous gift of love and time provides strength and enriches the lives of the patients immeasurably.

    And finally, the volunteer Committee of Management provides administrative guidance, fundraising expertise, and a variety of other functions. The Committee consists of nine members.