Cancer treatment in Pakistan
Shuakat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre was founded on 29th December 1994 in Lahore. The hospital statistics suggest that 75 percent of its patients are being treated free of cost. The majority of the funding comes from charitable donations across Pakistan and the rest from the patients who are able to pay for treatments. In 2013, the hospital admitted 9,211 new cancer patients while the hospital recorded nearly 175,000 visits of cancer patients in the outpatient department. About 33,783 patients received chemotherapy and 53,451 got radiation treatment in 2013. Cancer has proved to be a deadly disease whose cure has not been fully discovered. Moreover, the available treatment is very costly and the poor people can hardly afford it. Pakistan records between 150,000 and 200,000 new cancer patient every year but only a few thousand get the required medical treatment owing to limited medical facilities in the country. As stated by the chief Medical officer Peshawar, Dr. Asim-Yousaf, Pakistan required at least 20 more cancer hospitals around the size of SKMCH to cater to the patients load. The governments of Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan should rise above political expediency and donate land for the construction of cancer hospitals in their respected Provinces. The well-off people, especially overseas Pakistanis, should donate generously for this noble cause so that many precious lives can be saved —Islamabad.