Monday Feb 06, 2023
The Sindh government on Sunday announced a grant worth $4.1 million to replace old Cyberknife machines and equipment with the latest technology at the Jinnah Post Medical Centre (JPMC) in Karachi to benefit patients coming for treatment at the medical facility from across the country.
The grant has been announced for the Patients Aid Foundation (PAF), a non-profit organisation working to serve needy patients at the JPMC.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, while addressing the agreement signing ceremony between the provincial government and PAF to develop a working partnership on various projects in the JPMC, said he has been informed that the Cyberknife facility has a waiting list of around 2,000 patients.
Meanwhile, the Cyberknife Unit head Prof Tariq Mahmood said that JPMC was mostly treating brain cancers, however, following awareness among the public about Cyberknife being the best and safest treatment to cure stage-1 prostate cancer compared to surgery, the number of patients increased at a rapid pace.
"At present, Cyberknife Unit-1 is an older technology that requires more than an hour for each patient. Whereas, the newer technology to treat a patient requires less than 15 minutes this unit can treat up to 30 patients in a day," Prof Mahmood added.
To address the grave situation, the Sindh CM also announced the enhancement of the annual grant to the PAF from Rs340 million to Rs540 million from the next financial year. He also stated that the government also notified the addition of beds in the hospital for the next fiscal year budget.
“I am announcing the approval of enhancement of the annual grant to the PAF from Rs340 million to Rs540 million."
The long-term agreement, between the Sindh administration and PAF, has been signed for 25 years to operate various facilities at the JPMC. The collaboration will improve free diagnosis and treatment facilities that would otherwise be beyond the reach of common people.
The Sindh administration and PAF had installed two Cyberknife and Tomotherapy machines, which were jointly operated by the two entities.
The chief minister said that patients from 167 cities in Pakistan and 15 countries have availed of the free facility at the JPMC and the number of patients is increasing every day.
“Alhamdulillah, through this joint effort today the JPMC is amongst the top 10 centres in the world having two Cyberknifes and Tomotherapy, and is the only centre that offers absolutely free cancer treatment with cutting-edge technology irrespective of nationality, religion, and ethnicity,” he said.
The provincial chief executive also spoke about PET scan and cyclotron machines at the JPMC which were also a joint project of the provincial administration and the PAF.
He added that the JPMC is the only public sector hospital in Pakistan that offers free PET-Ct & PET-MR irrespective of the type of cancer, but in private healthcare centres it could cost as much as Rs90,000 per scan.