Can­cer treat­ment in Pakistan

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

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.

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