Project Update: The Clinical Tower at SKMCH&RC, Lahore
In Pakistan, every year, it is suspected that nearly a hundred and seventy thousand people fall victim to cancer. Being a developing country where the majority do not have access to even elementary health care facilities, this ailment was considered the ultimate symbol of hopelessness and almost certain death. Even treatable malignancies were mostly diagnosed too late or when even the most expensive treatment could not alter the course of the disease.
Imran Khan, legendary cricketer of Pakistan established Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, which is a charitable organisation established under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 of Pakistan in the memory of his mother Begum Shaukat Khanum (late) who succumbed to cancer. The mission of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust was and continues to be:
‘To act as a model institution to alleviate the suffering of patients with cancer through the application of modern methods of curative and palliative therapy irrespective of their ability to pay, the education of health care professionals and the public and perform research into the causes and treatment of cancer’.
Pakistan’s first Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) was established in Lahore in 1994. The importance of Shaukat Khanum Hospital does not just lie in the fact that it was the first specialised centre for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Pakistan, but perhaps, more so for the hope that it symbolises. The Hospital has continued to provide quality cancer care to all segments of society and 75 percent of all cancer patients receive financial support every year.
Since majority of the patients presenting to the Hospital came from the northern areas of the country, therefore Pakistan’s second SKMCH&RC was constructed in Peshawar in the year 2015 while construction for Pakistan’s third SKMCH&RC is underway.
Today, the work of the Hospital is known the world over, and has been recognized by the World Health Organization for ‘outstanding work in health development that has extended far beyond the call of normal duties’. Both our hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission International and thus stand testimony to the fact that the charitable organisation is providing free treatment services to underprivileged cancer patients in line with international standards.
Due to the increasing cost of providing cancer care in line with international recommendations and the upcoming construction of Pakistan’s third Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Karachi and the Clinical Tower in Lahore, we have a very challenging budget of Rs. 19 Billion for the year 2021 and need all your support to continue with our mission of fighting cancer.
Each year, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore has recorded an increase in activity in all clinical areas. The Hospital has always faced capacity constraints, and has continued to rationalize its patient induction policy, striving to induct the largest possible number of indigent patients that it can effectively treat to the very high standards it has set itself. We continue to raise the bar for quality patient care in Pakistan, never forgetting that the core principles on which we work are those of quality and equality, trying to ensure that we provide the best possible cancer care to all our patients, irrespective of their ability to pay. However, creation of additional physical space at the Hospital in Lahore has become imperative to meet our ever-increasing workloads. As a part of this endeavor, planning is currently underway for the construction of a New Clinical Tower at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) in Lahore.
The New Clinical Tower is planned as a eleven level building and will represent the largest expansion the Hospital has witnessed since its inauguration, twenty-seven years ago. In addition to augmenting all our existing clinical services, the clinical tower will house a new specialized bone marrow transplant unit, new imaging modalities, the latest in radiation equipment, a new emergency assessment room, chemotherapy facilities, endoscopy suite, inpatient floor and will also have two floors dedicated for pathology services, providing support not only for the Hospital, but also for the growing network of Shaukat Khanum Laboratory Collection Centres all over Pakistan. The new clinical tower will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and will be built according to the latest international healthcare standards.
We hope to start the construction of Parking Plaza by December 2021 at SKMCH&RC, Lahore. It will take atleast a year to finish this project and then, we will start the construction of New Clinical Tower, Lahore. It’s going to be a mega project. It is planned as eleven level building and will represent the largest expansion the Hospital has witnessed since its inauguration, twenty-seven years ago. The map and other formalities are in process with the relevant authorities and hopefully all the paperwork will be finished by end of next year.
The new Clinical Tower will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and will be built according to the latest international healthcare standards. Construction work on the new Clinical Tower, which will greatly augment all our existing clinical and support services, is expected to begin soon and should be completed in two years.