Project Update: Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Karachi
In Pakistan, every year, it is suspected that nearly hundred and eighty 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 cancers that could be treated were often found too late, when even the most expensive treatment couldn’t stop the disease from getting worse.
Imran Khan, the legendary captain of Pakistan’s World Cup-winning cricket team, established the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, which is a charitable organisation established under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 of Pakistan in memory of his mother, Begum Shaukat Khanum (late), who succumbed to cancer. The mission of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust has been 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 significance of Shaukat Khanum Hospital stems not only from the fact that it was Pakistan’s first specialised centre for cancer diagnosis and treatment but also from the hope that it represents. 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 the majority of the patients presenting to the hospital came from the northern areas of the country, Pakistan’s second SKMCH&RC was constructed in Peshawar in 2015, while construction for Pakistan’s third and largest SKMCH&RC is underway in Karachi.
Today, the work of the hospital is recognised all over the world and has been recognised by the World Health Organization for “outstanding work in health development that has extended far beyond the call of normal duties.”
In 2022, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust in Lahore became the second organisation in the world to be awarded Enterprise Accreditation by the Joint Commission International. After a three-week survey in August-September 2022, our hospitals in Lahore and Peshawar, our diagnostic centres in Lahore, as well as our diagnostic centre and clinic in Karachi, were awarded the JCI’s Gold Seal of Approval.
Due to the rising cost of providing cancer care in line with international guidelines and the upcoming construction of Pakistan’s third Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Karachi, we have a projected budget of PKR 39 billion for the year 2023 and need your support to continue in our mission of fighting cancer.
The treatment of cancer is often a long process, and many patients from Southern Pakistan cannot afford to make repeated physically, emotionally, and financially demanding trips to seek treatment at our existing facilities in Lahore and Peshawar. Therefore, in line with our mission to bring cancer care closer to patients, Pakistan’s third Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre is being constructed in Karachi. This will be the largest and most modern cancer facility in Pakistan.
The project is located on 20 acres of land in DHA City, Karachi. Construction of SKMCH&RC, Karachi, is underway at full pace, and the facility is expected to open soon as a fully functional cancer hospital with all the essential clinical and support departments one would expect of a facility of this nature. These include:
- Medical Oncology
- Paediatric Oncology
- Clinical and Radiation Oncology
- Surgical Oncology
- Internal Medicine
- Nuclear Medicine
- Medical Physics
The new hospital will open as a fully functional cancer hospital, with all clinical disciplines in place and equipped with the latest technology, including state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities as well as the latest in treatment planning and delivery systems. It will have forty-eight outpatient examination rooms, a seventy-bed chemotherapy facility, two hundred and eighty-eight inpatient beds, sixteen operation theatres, and twenty-four intensive care beds.
A Crucial Milestone Achieved for SKMCH&RC, Karachi: Physical Structure Completed
The physical structure of Pakistan’s largest tertiary care cancer centre was completed in late-November, 2022. Finishing work has commenced and the installation of equipment will be carried out throughout the coming year. The hospital will be equipped with the latest in technology for both diagnosis and treatment, and will be staffed by highly-qualified professionals. It is expected that the hospital will open as soon as possible, Inshallah, when it will continue the tradition of our hospitals in Lahore and in Peshawar by providing state-of-the-art cancer treatment free of charge to the underprivileged.
The long tradition of philanthropy in Karachi gives us great confidence that #KarachiCAN support us in building and running a dedicated cancer facility for the people not only of Karachi, but for all of Sindh, as well as for those coming from Southern Baluchistan. As the project nears completion, you can play your part by donating generously to help us in the battle against cancer.