Appeal by Chairman
As Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre completes 25 years of serving humanity, I feel humbled and immensely grateful for the unwavering support of Pakistanis living all around the world. Everyone who has donated to support the Hospital, as well as all the healthcare staff who chose to serve their country by being a part of our cause, have been an important part of this great journey. Most importantly, I am grateful to each one of you who believed in my dream and dedicated their time and effort in helping me realize the seemingly impossible task of building a cancer hospital in Pakistan, at a time when even the most basic healthcare facilities were often lacking in our country. You are all a part of this accomplishment and deserve to be congratulated on this achievement.
I am very proud of the fact that over the last 25 years, we have never once compromised on the quality of care we provide. We have continued to invest in the latest equipment and technology to stay at the forefront of cancer diagnosis and treatment in the region. Given that we are a charitable institution, it is noteworthy that we have continued to provide world-class treatment to all our patients, 75% of whom are underprivileged and who could not otherwise hope to access such expensive cancer treatment.
As part of our ongoing commitment to remain at the cutting edge of innovation and technology, we now have the largest and most modern radiation oncology department in the country, with four linear accelerators, all with IMRT, IGRT, and VMAT capability, a large bore CT simulator and a 4D CT simulator, HDR brachytherapy and the latest comprehensive treatment planning system. Two linear accelerators are high energy with Rapid Arc and on-board imaging capability. We are currently in the final stages of installation of a fifth radiation machine, which has stereotactic radiation capability, and is the most advanced medical linear accelerator currently available, and the first of its kind to be installed in Pakistan. Likewise, the radiation oncology department at SKMCH&RC, Peshawar, is also now fully functional, with two state-of-the-art linear accelerators installed.
Our focus has always been to maintain the highest standards of patient care. SKMCH&RC, Lahore became the first charitable hospital in Pakistan to earn the Gold Seal of Approval® by the Joint Commission International (JCI), and today both our hospitals, in Lahore and Peshawar, are accredited by the JCI, having received this prestigious award after demonstrating continuous compliance with JCI’s internationally recognized standards.
Over the past 25 years, our Hospitals have recorded over two million outpatient visits, and we have provided over 1.6 million therapeutic sessions of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Our aim has been to provide services based on the principles of quality and equality, and to ensure that our patients receive care that enhances the quality of life. Our biggest challenge remains our limited resources. Cancer is a unique disease that requires regular follow-up over many years, even after active treatment has been completed. This means that, as we register new patients in the system each year, they join a large body of patients who have completed active treatment, but for whom we continue to provide care for several years following this. As cancer incidence is on the rise, we are required to make difficult decisions as to whom we should provide cancer care to, since no one hospital can hope to treat all the patients who develop cancer in Pakistan each year. With the completion of the hospital in Peshawar, and the commencement of work on our third, and biggest so far, cancer hospital in Karachi, we hope that we will go some way towards achieving our goal for the next twenty-five years, which is that most or all cancer patients in Pakistan should be able to receive the best possible cancer care in a Shaukat Khanum cancer facility, no matter where they are in Pakistan. Our budget for the year 2020 is Rs.17 billion and we expect around half of this to be met by your generous Zakat and donations. Together, we have shown that nothing is impossible in Pakistan when we set our minds to it, and I am confident that, with your continued support, we can fulfil this ambition and ensure that no one succumbs to cancer because of a lack of treatment facilities for this disease, or because they could not afford to pay for their care. As we celebrate twenty-five years of Hope, I invite you to join me in this task and to pledge your support in our fight against cancer, for the next twenty-five years and beyond.
With warmest regards,
Chairman, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust