Palliative Care Pakistan...
    Welcome to the Project of
the Cancer Care Hospital &
Research Center in Pakistan
by Dr. Riaz ur Rahman
January 20, 2014

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Some 162,000 patients are added to the existing number of cancer patients in Punjab each year. Only a small minority are able to get treatment. There is therefore, a critical need to expand medical care to these patients in the province and the 300,000 patients that are added to the national pool each year.

The limited cancer treatment facilities in the country can help only about 40,000 patients annually. The statistics are sobering: a total of 591 beds and 55 oncologists are available for 162,000 patients in Punjab. Limited capacities for palliative care, cancer emergencies and bone marrow transplants leave the majority of patients without access to proper treatment or care. In Punjab itself, no centre offers bone marrow transplants except for an Armed Forces Institute. There is therefore, an immediate need for a large cancer hospital or a network of cancer hospitals which offer palliative care, where bone marrow transplants are available and cancer emergencies are addressed.

The establishment of a cancer hospital where comprehensive, professional and affordable care is provided with compassion and commitment. A hospital where no patient is denied treatment on the basis of advanced stage of disease or expense involved. A hospital which conducts research into the promise of winning the war against cancer; while educating health care professionals and the public.

To provide a standard of care to cancer patients especially the poor and marginalized without discrimination. To teach and train doctors, nursing and para medical staff in the field of oncology. To organize and conduct research in the field of cancer and related fields with a special focus on biomedical research to promote indigenous drug development utilizing local resources. To promote awareness among the public/ high risk groups for prevention of and early detection of cancer.



Establishment of a 60 beds indoor palliative care facility supported by diagnostic labs, radiology unit and transfusion facility; with separate general wards for men and women and a private wing comprising of rooms for individualized care.CCHRC to provide palliative care focusing on relieving suffering and ensuring  support for the best quality of life. It will provide sophisticated management of pain, while offering psychosocial, spiritual and bereavement support.

A special model for delivery of palliative care at home  will be provided. Functionally dependant and cognitively impaired patients will be admitted indoors while others will be given care at home through a network of trained family physicians.

Outpatient treatment will provide consultation to 200 patients daily with an anticipated visit load of 60,000 or more. A team of oncology consultants will provide consultation and treatment; chemotherapy will be administered in specially designated rooms; a state of the art blood transfusion service will provide safe blood transfusions and component therapy while best international practices and screening guidelines will be pursued.

Prof Dr. Shaharyar,
Cancer Research & Treatment Foundation

Phase 1: Palliative Care/Hospice Care.

Cancer is on the rise in Pakistan, as is elsewhere in the world.

‎80% of the cancer patients in Pakistan present in very late stages, with terminal disease, because of lack of awareness and poor health facilities in the rural areas where the majority population lives. These unfortunate terminal cancer patients die a painful miserable death.  These poor patients are at the mercy of the, either traditional care givers, or of the medical physicians, who exploit and cash on their disease , by giving them false hopes and giving them very expensive chemotherapy even in stage 4 terminal disease, it is not uncommon to see a cancer patient with Lung, Bones liver, and brain  secondries  getting expensive chemotherapy,  purchased by the patients. What these patients need is Palliative Care. There should be some legislation to control the multinationals, pharmaceuticals who are promoting unethical business, by giving incentives, to doctors, using these expensive medications to terminally ill dying patients, who may not benefit, from these drugs, Palliative Care is not against research and development of new drugs, but advocate the judicious use of these drugs, especially in a country like Pakistan where there is no health insurance system, We need to set up Hospice and Palliative care units in all the tertiary hospitals in the government sector, as a first step, encouraging the caring society to come forward with hand in hand in providing care to these unfortunate dying patients. THE HAVE ALL's are i feel obligated to give back to the society at least a fraction of what the almighty has bestowed on them, it is an opportunity for them to earn for themselves in the hereafter as well. Its just the realization of the fact if one does, he is blessed..

The first   120  bedded  Hospital  based  Palliative Care unit has been planned  by the C C H & R C  .  A model of care in which the terminally ill cancer patients will be admitted for not only pain, symptom management   but also to make a needs assessments as well as to  train the primary  carer , provide  volunteer  support, who would be a link between the patient at home and the palliative care unit for providing  total care. The Palliative unit will loan out equipment, the patient may require for care at home, like wheel chairs, syringe drivers, nebulizers, special mattresses, air cushions etc .The Palliative unit will act as a  backup support, anytime the need arises to bring back the patient direct from the home bed to the hospital bed for short term management. To  Encourage and train  the family, so as to, be so confident,  to  take care of their loved ones at home  in the last days of their life.

To provide bereavement care to the family once the loved one  is gone.

The Palliative unit will also act as a training ground for palliative physicians and nurses, leading to diploma courses.

Training of doctors and nurses from all district hospitals in Palliative care, to establish a networking  to manage patients going back to their respective districts of residence.

To run a volunteer training program, for orientation for volunteers   from  the general public

To do research on different aspects of Palliative Care management.

Dr  Riaz ur Rahman
Palliative Care Physcian
Member Board of Governors
Cancer Care Hospital & Research Center


International Workshop on
Palliative Care in Pakistan, December, 2013
Photo above: Dr. Riaz ur Rahman, right,
Joann Rosencrans, center, and Dr.Pamela Sutton, left.
Jan 2015
TV Program
Care in

Part 1

Part 2