Fakhir Afridi, a cancer patient, inaugurated the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center in Peshawar on Tuesday.

The second franchise of country’s biggest cancer hospital has started operations in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa capital.

Fakhir Afridi, a cancer patient, with Imran Khan inaugurated the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center in Peshawar
Fakhir Afridi, a cancer patient, with Imran Khan inaugurated the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center in Peshawar

Initially, there are 20 chemotherapy beds, six emergency room beds, 12 admission beds, two intensive care unit beds, radiology services, including mammography, plain radiology and ultrasonography and pathology laboratory at the hospital.

In the first phase, the hospital will provide X-ray, CT scan, MRI, chemotherapy and pathological services to the patients that will be followed by radiation services in the second phase, planned by 2015, and surgery after one year.

Heavy contingents of police and other security forces were summoned to monitor the situation while Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) operations himself inspected the checking process.

Talking at the ceremony, Imran Khan said that SKMCH Peshawar will act as a role model for all the hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said that the authorities have been able to raise funds for SKMCH Peshawar only because of the unmatched performance of Shaukat Khanum Lahore.

According to Chief Executive Officer SKMCH&RC Lahore, Dr Faisal Sultan: “It will be 30 percent bigger than SKMCH&RC Lahore with more sophisticated equipment.”

Lahore hospital was inaugurated by a cancer patient “Sumera” who is live a prosperous married life today, on December 29, 1994.

Dr Faisal said that of the total cost, Rs3 billion was spent on construction of international standard structures, designed by a US-based architect, who also designed the cancer hospital in Lahore. “We have taken care of flaws that have been made in Lahore,” he added.

Lahore hospital, which was built in 1994, has 200 beds and the strength of beds will reach to 400 over a period of three years.

ANP provincial president and former CM Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, who allotted land for the hospital when he was chief minister of the province in the previous provincial government, was also invited to the inaugural ceremony.

Imran Khan launched donation appeal for Rs800 million to equip the hospital in early November and raised Rs860 million on the eve of the inauguration of the hospital for which 50-kanal land was donated by the previous provincial government.

Imran Khan with Fakhir Afridi cutting the tape.
Imran Khan with Fakhir Afridi cutting the tape.

In the live worldwide fundraising telethon on late Sunday night, Imran Khan was accompanied by celebrities Waseem Akram, Atif Aslam, Ibrarul Haq, Javed Sheikh and Ahsan Khan while the background onscreen appeals were made by Reema Khan, Bushra Ansari, Javed Miandad, Anwar Maqsood and Rahat Feteh Ali Khan to make up for the deficit of Rs210 million.

Dr Asim Yousaf, the chief medical officer of SKMCH&RC, said that 25 per cent of the cancer patients checked in Lahore belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Afghanistan. They faced accommodation problems in Lahore and bore travel costs, he said.

“Every year, we get 50,000 patients but only 8000 are taken due to space. We are also embarking upon Karachi hospital where land has been acquired,” said Dr Asim. He added that on an average per month cost for cancer treatment was about Rs1 million which most patients couldn’t afford.

“We spend Zakat and donations besides our own income from collection centres and charges from paying patients on poor patients. Doctors don’t know about paying and non-paying ones,” he said.

Dr Asim said that they spent Rs7 billion on the free treatment of 75 per cent patients.


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