KARACHI: The construction work on the first cancer center of southwestern Balochistan province at Quetta’s Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital will begin in January next year, an official said on Saturday.
“The cancer center will be established at Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Quetta, at the cost of Rs1 billion,” Balochistan government’s spokesperson, Liaquat Shahwani, told Arab News, adding that the province’s chief minister, Jam Kamal, would perform the groundbreaking ceremony.
“Another new block will also be established separately for pediatric oncology,” Shahwani said, terming the establishment of the health care facility as a “landmark” development.
The health indicators in the sparsely populated Balochistan are not as good as other provinces of the country, and many patients have to travel to Karachi to get their medical treatment.
According to a report, around 35,000 cancer patients from Balochistan undergo cancer treatment in the country’s major urban centers where treatment and accommodation charges are usually too high for them.
“It is an old demand of the people of Balochistan, and the provincial government has finally managed to fulfill it,” the spokesperson said, adding: “The government has allocated Rs1 billion in the current Public Sector Development Program for the establishment of the health care facility.”
He confirmed that this would be the first cancer center in Balochistan and treat patients from across the province.
Prof. Dr. Roohullah, a former professor at the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy (CENAR), Quetta, maintained that the cancer center was a positive step.
He said that the support of other departments of Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital would make the center “a complete hospital which the province needed for a long time.”