KARACHI: Construction work for the new Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Karachi is underway at full pace and the project is expected to be commissioned at a total cost of Rs. 16.4 billion.
In a press-briefing organised in this regard, Dr. Muhammed Aasim Yusuf, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centres (SKMCH&RC) said, “Construction is progressing according to the planned project time-lines for our new hospital located in DHA City, Karachi. I am pleased to announce that structural work on the lower ground, ground and first floor are close to completion. The lower ground floor will house the clinical and radiation oncology department, which has ten bunkers for radiation machines and the department of nuclear medicine. The radiology department, the outpatient clinics, the emergency assessment unit, pharmacy and cafeteria will be located on the ground floor and the first floor will house the chemotherapy bays, the bone marrow transplant unit, the endoscopy unit, the pathology lab and the blood bank.”
He further added, “Even during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, SKMCH&RC remains committed to bringing state-of-the-art and comprehensive cancer care closer to patients, especially for the people of Sindh and Southern Balochistan. The third Hospital, at one million square feet of constructed area, will be twice the size of our hospital in Lahore. It is planned to open as a fully-functional cancer hospital, with all clinical disciplines in place, in 2023. It is being constructed based on our experience of running two tertiary care cancer centres for over two decades, according to international healthcare standards. It will be equipped with the latest in medical technology and staffed by highly-trained professionals. The new hospital will continue the legacy of SKMCH&RC in Lahore and Peshawar, and all patients will receive the best possible curative and palliative therapy, irrespective of their ability to pay.”
Dr. Aasim Yusuf explained the urgent need for more specialised cancer centres in Pakistan. He said that according to one estimate, there are over 170,000 new cancer cases recorded in Pakistan each year and the huge number of new cancer patients means that we are able to serve only a proportion of those suffering from cancer in Pakistan. The treatment of cancer is often a long and arduous process, with many patients having to make repeated, and expensive, trips over long distances in order to seek treatment. Successful completion of treatment is followed by several years of further visits for follow-up. It is for this reason that our second hospital was constructed in Peshawar, and this is why we have now turned to Karachi, where construction of the third SKMCH&RC will hugely enhance the country’s capacity to treat cancer and provide access to cancer care for ever-increasing numbers of patients.
In his appeal to the people of Pakistan residing around the globe, and especially in Karachi, Dr. Aasim Yusuf said that the new hospital is an opportunity for the public to create a lasting legacy by donating Rs. 100 for a brick every month or by dedicating rooms in memory of loved ones.
He said, “Please give generously to enable the growing network of the Shaukat Khanum Healthcare System to defeat cancer in Pakistan”.