Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, announced a grant of $4.1 million for the Patients Aid Foundation (PAF) at a recent signing ceremony in Karachi. The grant will fund the replacement of outdated equipment and machines at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) with the latest technology, providing patients from all over the country with access to world-class care.
The ceremony was attended by numerous dignitaries, including Adviser Law Murtaza Wahab, Parliamentary Secretary Qasim Soomro, Secretary Health Zulfiqar Shah, Executive Director JPMC Prof Shahid Rasool, and several philanthropists and donors. The Chief Minister acknowledged that the current Cyberknife facility had a waiting list of 2,000 patients and therefore, announced an increase in the annual grant to the Patients Aid Foundation from Rs 340 million to Rs 540 million, starting in the next financial year.
Since 1991, PAF has been serving the less fortunate at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, enhancing its bed capacity from 1,100 to 2,208 beds. The CM noted that this was possible through the devolution of JPMC to the Sindh government and the successful collaboration with PAF. The two organizations have installed two Cyberknife and Tomotherapy machines, making JPMC one of the top 10 facilities in the world that offer cutting-edge cancer treatment for free, without discrimination of nationality, religion, or ethnicity.
The Chief Minister announced a formal agreement between the Patients Aid Foundation and the Government of Sindh, which will run for 25 years. This agreement will help further improve the free diagnosis and treatment services available at JPMC, which would otherwise be inaccessible to the average person. The CM highlighted that the JPMC is the only public sector hospital in Pakistan that provides free PET-CT and PET-MR scans, and that even in private healthcare centers, a single PET scan can cost up to Rs 90,000.
The CM mentioned that doctors informed him that a cancer patient may need two to three PET scans during treatment, making this an even more pressing matter. He expressed his commitment to the project and the importance of providing quality healthcare to all those in need.
Parliamentary Secretary on Health, Qasim Siraj Soomro, praised the Chief Minister’s efforts to develop health facilities throughout the province, providing quality treatment free of charge. Executive Director JPMC, Prof Shahid Rasool, expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister and the PAF for their support in making JPMC one of the best healthcare facilities in the world. PAF Chairman, Mushtaq Chhapra, emphasized the history of the partnership between the Sindh government and PAF, and the crucial role of national and international donors in providing essential medical services.