In the PIMS, Islamabad is expected to receive its first state-of-the-art cancer hospital by June 2025. According to reports, the original PC-I cost for the project, Rs 1,998 million, has increased by over 70 percent, to Rs 3,406 million, over the years.
Central Development Working Party has received the working paper from the Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives. On December 13, 2018, then Prime Minister, Imran Khan chaired a meeting on health reforms that were being taken in Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa that led to the establishment of the hospital.
In the original PC-I, the project was estimated to cost Rs 1,998 million, but in the revised PC-I, the project cost rose to Rs 3,406 million, a rise of more than 70 percent. The sources said that the PC-I was received in PD&SI on January 24, 2023, and the PSDP is proposed to finance the project. It will take 2 years and 5 months to complete the project from February 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025.
As per official documents, the hospital will diagnose cancer early and treat all types of cancers. It will be a full-fledged cancer hospital that will treat poor cancer patients free of charge. Approximately 7,000 patients per year will be treated in phase-I, increasing to 16,000 in the next five to ten years. In addition to causing death and morbidity, cancer is one of the leading non-communicable diseases.
At the moment, PIMS’s oncology department is the only government-owned cancer treatment facility in the city. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Pakistan has more than 178,000 new cancer cases every year, and there are more than 117 percent (2,008,000) cancer deaths. The country has only 250 qualified medical or radiation oncologists.
In Islamabad, AJK, GB, and FATA, over 10,000 patients are treated each year at various hospitals, both public and private. According to a brief description of the project, hospitals in Islamabad and adjoining areas are providing cancer treatment to patients, including PAEC-NORI Hospital (semi-private) CMH, Rawalpindi, and Shifa International.
This proposed project involves the establishment of a 200-bed state-of-the-art hospital for indoor admission of various types of cancer patients. There are 75 beds for adult oncology, 25 beds for peds, 25 beds for women oncology, 25 beds for intensive care units, 30 beds for private care, and 20 beds for emergency care.
This facility is equipped with 50 chemotherapy chairs and several specialized clinics for OPD treatment. An array of diagnostic services will be available, such as radiology, CT scan, PET-CT, MRI, angiographic machine, and image guide biopsies. With the goal of becoming a leading institute for cancer research and advocacy, this institute expects to help around 7,000 cancer patients annually with the number increasing to 16,000 within 5-10 years.
As part of Phase-I, civil works, and electrical works will be carried out. In Phase-2, medical equipment, hospital furniture, ambulances, office furniture, and an incinerator will be procured. Three buildings (39083 sqft) with a patient ramp (14872 sqft) and Mumty will be built as part of the building component.
On 12 February 2018, CDWP administratively approved the PC-1 for the subject scheme with a budget of Rs. 1,998.00 million. During the financial year 2018-19, Rs. 265.00 million was allocated for the project, but it was surrendered in PSDP 2018-19 shortly thereafter. At present, Rs. 250 million has been allocated for the subject scheme during the current financial year 2022-23.
The cancer hospital will mark an unprecedented step forward in the public sector, providing free medical treatment to those in need, including impoverished people, government staff, politicians, jurists, and press personnel. NOORI on the other hand is overseen by the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) of the Atomic Energy Commission and is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations & Coordination Division.
In 2018, the CDWP approved the project, meaning that an assessment of feasibility isn’t necessary at this point. The planned hospital blocks will be constructed on the land belonging to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, which is owned by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Division.
It’s clear that NOORI was constructed using PIMS’ land and its activities are limited to radiotherapy alone. Furthermore, it is a private body and doesn’t have the facilities for comprehensive patient care, academics, or research.