KARACHI: The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust is organising the ground-breaking ceremony of Pakistan’s third critically needed Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in DHA City, Karachi on December 29.

As per hospital’s policy and history, a nine year old paediatric patient at Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, Waleed Ahmed from Jamshoro, Sindh, will be the special guest to perform the ground-breaking ceremony on this extraordinary event. This new hospital in Karachi will make comprehensive cancer care accessible to poor cancer patients and bring hope of life closer to Sindh and adjoining areas. Two state-of-the-art Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospitals in Lahore and Peshawar are already providing cancer care tremendously to the indigent cancer patients.

It is pertinent to mention here that a 20-acre plot has been awarded to SKMT by the DHA Karachi at a prime location at DHA City for construction of the hospital. DHA Karachi has proved to be a vanguard of this unique medical venture.

According to the management of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, this comprehensive cancer centre will be built at a cost of Rs4.5 billion. The first phase would take two and a half years to complete and the multi-level facility was expected to be operational on December 29, 2019. The facility will gradually scale up to the level of a fully functional cancer care hospital for the people residing south of Pakistan.

The new facility is planned to have Operating Rooms, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a chemo-bay facility, inpatient rooms, and outpatient clinics, initially. The hospital will have clinical departments namely medical oncology, paediatric oncology, radiation oncology with two IMRT linear accelerators, brachytherapy, CT simulation services, surgical oncology, anaesthesia, radiology with two CT scanners, one MRI scanner, X-ray, fluoroscopy, ultrasound, mammography scanners and a PET CT scanner with cyclotron, internal medicine, nuclear medicine with two SPECT-CT gamma camera, and pathology offering haematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, cytology, and a blood bank including NAT testing. This enormous facility, would no doubt, open up opportunities for the oncologists, doctors, nurses and health professionals to get training in the management, diagnosis and treatment of the cancer patients. It would surely enhance and raise the healthcare standards in the region and provide opportunities of training and career to the local population.

As per hospital’s record, about 75 percent of the patients have been treated free of cost at the two hospitals since their launch in Lahore in 1994. The hospital had spent Rs22 billion on the diagnosis and treatment of the cancer patients so far.

Imran Khan, chairman of the Board of Governors of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, board members, hospital’s senior management and representatives from various quarters of the city, hospital’s well-wishers, donors and celebrities will be present at this event. Brigadier Shahid Hassan Ali, administrator of DHA Karachi, will be the guest speaker at the ceremony.