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Shaukat Khanum Hospital to be completed by '93.

The hospital will no longer be just an idea or a fallacy. It's a dream to come true gradually but hopefully steadily in one of the suburbs of Lahore, Jauhar Town. The cost of the building structure is roughly estimated to be rupees 80 million. BY the grace of God and generous effort of the people the amount has been pooled up to Rs. 62.125 million. A major contribution of Rs. 20 million has been funded by school children by selling the charity tickets of the trust. A scheme launched by Imram Khan and zealously picked up and carried out by small school children. So far children of major cities like Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Karachi, Peshawar etc. were involved. But plans are underway to involve children from rural section of the population as well.

Twenty acres of land in Johar Twon Phase II, comprising a well-planned housing scheme in a picturesque area, was donated by the government as a site for the hospital. The hospital with a covered area of about 180,000 square feet will be constructed in two phases. "It was a due necessity that the public should see their contributions as material investments in the tangible and concrete structure of the building", says one of the marketing managers of the trust. To wipe out some doubts and apprehensions regarding the sincerity of the project the management plans to publish, as a precedent, a document giving the feasibility plan. It is supposed to clear all the misconceptions, overestimations piled up so far one of the organisers said. Cancer hospital is designed and geared to be a comprehensive medical institution capable of timely diagnosis, treatment of all types of cancer, plus educating the public regarding prevention and treatment of cancer. It will provide compassionate, curative, and palliative treatment to patients with cancer from all segments of society.

The design plans for the hospital are coming from a foreign firm which specialises in the design of cancer hospital. The renowned architect Nayer Ali Dada is working on the proposed design for harmonising it with local weather and other factors. The contract for the construction has already been leased out. It is designed to have out patient department in patient facilities, residential facilities, radiology and nuclear medicine, pathology department, medical oncology, surgical suite, plus a cancer research centre.

A fully equipped and functional hospital is expected to be ready by June 1993. In a country of more than 110 million people where only 30 per cent of cancer cases are curable. It will be a big blessing to actually have the proposed hospital. If the public continues to give the same helpful response the trust will be able to achieve its fund target of Rs. 400 million (40 crore). So far its middle, lower middle class and children who have made the major contributions. People send in their one day salaries, pay orders. People even walk in from the street to make small but precious contributions.

In a press interview Test cricketer Imran Khan said that work on the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust Cancer Hospital was in full swing and hoped to be commissioned in August next. He said that approximately 170 million rupees has been collected so far for the under construction project and the remaining amount will be generated in the near future. Imran disclosed that around 200,000 cases of cancer occurred in Pakistan every year of which 15 to 20 percent are diagnosed and treated. He said efforts are underway to collect 60 million rupees pledged by different people. Giving the breakups of collection during his recent visit abroad Imran said he collected two lac dirham from Dubai, 1.2 million riyal from Saudi Arabia and one lac pound from England. Responding to another question he said that the hospital which will be equipped with modern equipments, will be of 30 beds in the early stages while another 120 beds will be added in three years. The hospital will cater 15,000 to 20,000 outdoor patients annually.

When asked what will be the charges for the poor patients he replied that a committee of social workers will be appointed which will analyse the capacity of a patient regarding how much he can pay. Zakat fund for the poor patients will also be created in the hospital, he added. Regarding the equipments, he said efforts are being made to get the equipments donated from abroad. Yet to another question he said United Nations Development Project (UNDP) has promised to train the nurses and other technical staff free of cost.
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Publication:Economic Review
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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