CANCER IS CURABLE
Sep 1 - 7, 2008
Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center (SKMCH&RC) is an idea conceived by Pakistan's cricketing legend Imran Khan. His mother's death and the experience of dealing with her treatment for cancer served as an impetus for to set up a state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility in Pakistan. This was designed to enable access to everyone, irrespective of their ability to pay. A nationwide campaign was launched that raised a sum of PKR 1,440 million (US$24 million) enabling the hospital to open its doors to its first patients in December 1994. The objective of setting up the hospital was to ensure high quality patient care and treatment facilities, as well as developing a culture of education and research in the field of Oncology. The layout of the hospital building was designed by Arrasmith, Judd and Rapp of Louisville, Kentucky. Lady Diana, Princess of Wales was an ardent supporter of Shaukat Khanum Hospital and visited the hospital in 1996 and 1997 to initiate fund raising activities for this cause.
SKMCH&RC today stands on a 20 acre plot of land with a covered area of approximately 200,000 sq ft. The following statistics [for the last 8 years] give an idea of the patient volumes being handled by SKMCH&RC:
PR: PATIENTS REGISTERED
OV: OUTPATIENT VISITS
ADM: CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENTS
SO: SURGICAL OPERATIONS
RT: RADIATION THERAPY
IS: IMAGING STUDIES
PT: PATHOLOGY TESTS
PD: PHARMACY DISPENSING
The hospital employs a staff of over 1000 including 44 full time attending Consultant physicians, all internationally trained in their areas of specialization. Nearly 60 house-staff are also employed, many of whom are enrolled in formal training programs accredited by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan. Formal training programs for nursing staff, allied medical staff and other technical staff also run on a constant basis within the hospital premises. A training program for radiology technicians is also underway in collaboration with the University of Bradford, UK.
The hospital realizes the importance of research and aims to support it along with its routine operations. To this end, a 15,000 sq ft Basic Science Research Lab was inaugurated in 2006. At present, three PhD scientists are working at SKMCH&RC on various cancer-related research projects. Notable work includes projects on BRCA 1 and 2 mutations in the Pakistani population and the role of Galectin 3 as a marker of programmed cell death in breast cancer. Collaborative work with international and national institutions is ongoing. SKMCH&RC's publications appear in peer-reviewed research periodicals and journals all over the world.
The annual operating budget is approximately PKR 2 billion (US$32 million), half of which comes from public philanthropy and the other half from revenue services of the hospital. About 25% of cancer patients visits are financed on self/third-party basis, while the remainder is being supported via philanthropic support from the hospital's parent trust. All philanthropic donations are directly used for patient care whereas revenue from the hospital's clinics is used for infrastructure development and patient welfare initiatives. Over the past thirteen years, more than PKR 4,800 million (US$80 million) has been spent on rendering philanthropic assistance to needy patients. Continued investments in technology have continued over the last 12 years and the hospital currently operates two MRI machines, four CT scanners [two of them 64-slice machines], three radiation machines [including one IMRT capable machine] amongst other modern equipments. A cyclotron and PET CT system, Pakistan's first, is likely to be in place within the year and will greatly improve diagnostic facilities for cancer patients throughout Pakistan. The hospital's diagnostic and clinical services are highly respected and our 48-strong phlebotomy network all over Pakistan has given us the distinction of being one of the two premier "send out" labs in the country. A home-grown, fully integrated hospital information system is in place and all physician notes, order entry, laboratory tests and radiology images are available online. The hospital has ongoing quality assurance programs in place with plans for Joint Commission International Accreditation in 2008.
Future plans include enhancement of research endeavors, construction of a new clinical tower [which will double our present capacity], community and outreach services [including a population mammography project] as well as a cancer hospital in Karachi. SKMCH&RC is building a population based registry system in collaboration with other partner institutions in Lahore.
SKMCH&RC takes pride in the following:
* It is one of the biggest charities in Pakistan
* Ever since its inception in 1994, more than PKR 5 billion (US$ 83 million) have been disbursed on free treatment of indigent cancer patients
* Approximately PKR 800 million (US$ 13.3 million) was spent only in the last year for free treatment of patients
* Projected expenditure in lieu of rendering free treatment to patients for the year 2008 is estimated to be approx PKR 1 billion (US$ 16.6 million)
* 75% of the patients being treated at SKMCH&RC receive financial assistance
* SKMCH&RC is an internationally recognized research facility
* Our first bone marrow transplant was conducted in 2006
* Two new satellite clinics opened recently in Peshawar and Karachi
* SKMCH&RC runs formal training programs accredited by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan
SKMCH&RC is committed to rendering high quality patient care by providing state-of-the-art treatment facilities for cancer patients irrespective of their financial constraints. The transparency of its operations is its forte. This year SKMCH&RC requires another PKR 900 Million for treatment of indigent cancer patients. The hospital is continuously pursuing rigorous research in the field of medicine and aims to expand its network all across Pakistan with the help of the continued support of our compassionate supporters all across the globe.
Profile of Mr. Nadeem Saulat Siddiqui (Regional Manager SKMCH&RC)
Working with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) since 1993, Nadeem Saulat Siddiqui is a gifted individual for fostering philanthropist activities for the premier healthcare facility of Pakistan. He is currently working as Regional Manager (South) shouldering major responsibilities of fund raising, resource development and project management for a wide array of SKMCH&RC's ongoing and upcoming projects including Karachi Diagnostic Centre in DHA and a fully independent cancer hospital in Karachi. He has been awarded various performance excellence awards in recognition of his continued and invaluable services to the hospital and its philanthropic mission. The article 'Cancer is Curable' is a brief overview of various initiatives taken ever since its inception by SKMCH&RC to render free medical care to indigent cancer patients of Pakistan.