Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he is committed to making the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) a world-class facility by establishing a Rs6 billion institute for cancer, a 12-storey tower at the JPMC having the ability to diagnose and treat for free all types of cancer under one roof.
This he said while presiding over a briefing held in the conference room of radiology department which he visited on Wednesday. He was accompanied by Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, principal secretary to the CM Sohail Rajput and others. Zahid Bashir, Mushtaq Chapra, Shabir Diwan, Peer Mohammad Diwan of the Patients Aid Foundation (PAF) were also present.
Prof Tariq Mahmood made a presentation on the existing facility created by the PAF and its future needs to make the JPMC a world-class facility as envisaged by the chief minister under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. Under the plan, a 12-storey complex for cancer institute is being established at the JPMC having the ability to diagnose and treat free of cost all types of cancer under one roof.
The total cost of this project would be Rs6bn, half of which is being arranged by the PAF for civil works while the remaining Rs3bn was promised by the chief minister. “I am committed with you and with my people to provide them best health facilities, particularly to cure cancer at an early stage,” the CM said.
The chief minister, who was also briefed on the OPD and surgical complex which is also nearing completion, said he had allocated Rs425 million for the purchase of equipment in the current budget. “This would be sufficient to operationalise eight operation theatres of the complex and I would finance you further if more funds are required,” he said.
The PAF is also arranging Rs700m to complete and equip the 10 operating theatres on the top floor under a PPP arrangement.
The chief minister lauded efforts of the PAF, especially for the plans of the under-construction surgical and OPD complex, and pledged to provide additional Rs700m for the OPD and surgical complex and Rs3bn for the institute of cancer at the JPMC from 2018 to 2020.
The CM also instructed Prof Tariq to enlarge the scope of services of this cancer institute to other parts of the province through satellite units.
Earlier, the chief minister offered dua for marking the opening of the Cyclotron and PET CT facility. Later the CM was shown the new Cyclotron, Cyber-knife Robotic surgery, parts of the radiology department and other areas established on a public-private partnership basis.
At the conclusion of the visit, Executive Director of the JPMC Dr Seemin Jamali presented a shield to the CM.
Talking to the media at the JPMC, the chief minister said it was the first facility in the country where cancer patients were treated free. In this facility, patients from 12 different countries, including Bahrain, Afghanistan and other countries, came for treatment.
“This is a costly treatment, which costs a patient around Rs5m to Rs10m, which is unaffordable but under the PPP mode we have made it possible here on the JPMC premises,” he said. He added that 44 per cent of the under-treatment patients belonged to Sindh, 34pc to Punjab and the rest to KP and Balochistan.
He said the process to recruit more than 6,000 doctors had come to a final stage. Once the recruitment was completed, most of the hospitals facing a shortage of doctors would start functioning to their full strength.
Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2017