LAHORE : While launching Zakat campaign of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, Dr Muhammed Aasim Yusuf, chief medical officer and acting chief executive officer, revealed that the campaign for this year is entitled, “Our Children Insist on Living” which is an appeal to the public to give their donations and Zakat to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust to help cancer patients get better and live life to the fullest.
He said, “We not only focus on saving lives but saving lives with the emphasis on maintaining quality of life and patient dignity in everything we do.”
Commenting on the special aspect of treatment being provided at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centres located in Lahore and Peshawar, Dr Yusuf said, “Although there are many other hospitals that simultaneously run charitable operations along with private services, however, unfortunately, there exists a huge chasm between the quality of care provided where wings for private services are often separate from the areas offering services to the poor.”
“At the Shaukat Khanum Hospitals, there are no private wards and the entire model of healthcare delivery is structured in a way that is focused on quality and equality, as if every patient is a paying patient,” he said.
He said, “The recent award of re-accreditation by the Joint Commission International (JCI) for SKMCH&RC, Lahore, testifies to the fact that we have been true to our word in providing world-class cancer care to all our patients, over 75 per cent of whom are treated entirely free of charge. The JCI is recognised as a global leader in developing the most rigorous standards for healthcare quality and patient safety in the world.”
The hospitals have a mechanism in place to determine Zakat eligibility of patients. “All patients requiring financially-supported treatment undergo a thorough evaluation of the nature of their disease and the stage at which they have presented to us. This screening process is conducted at our walk-in clinics located in Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi where patients receive free consultation,” he said.
Explaining the Zakat utilisation process at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, Dr Muhammed Aasim Yusuf said, “Our supporters have always donated with confidence, knowing that their contributions are spent judiciously on needy cancer patients. We consider the disbursement of your Zakat to be a sacred trust, and we ensure all necessary steps and safeguards are in place to ensure its utilisation is in compliance with Islamic injunctions and the expectations of our donors. All the Zakat collected is spent on providing direct patient care within the year of collection – it is neither saved nor invested.”
In his message to the public, he said, “For 2021, the annual operating budget for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust is Rs19 billion. Nearly half of this is expected to be generated from our clinical income, which comes largely from our diagnostic services, provided primarily via our nationwide laboratory collection centre network. \
The other half of the budget is raised each year by collecting Zakat and donations from our generous supporters. We hope that, as you have done every year since 1994, Pakistanis all around the world will continue their tradition of generosity to support equitable access to quality cancer care in our country.”