KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday approved release of $7 million for completion of the under-construction nine-storey CyberKnife Surgical Complex at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

Chairing a meeting here at the CM House, he also issued directives for establishment of a CyberKnife satellite centre in Sukkur.

Patients’ Aid Foundation chief Mushtaq Chhapra, Shabbir Diwan, finance secretary Hasan Naqvi, Sajid Jamal Abro and others were also present.

After completion of the new unit, JPMC will be the 17th hospital in the world to have a tomotherapy facility

Mr Shah was told that the CyberKnife surgical complex would be completed by the end of 2020, and the JPMC would soon become the 17th medical centre in the world equipped with a tomotherapy facility.

Prof Dr Tariq Mahmood, the head of radiology, CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery and oncology, informed the CM that the tomotherapy facility was being installed at the JPMC at a cost of $4m.

The CyberKnife is a frameless robotic radiosurgery system used for treating benign tumours, malignant tumours and other medical conditions. Two main elements of the CyberKnife are the radiation produced from a small linear particle accelerator and a robotic arm which allows the energy to be directed at any part of the body from any direction.

Briefing the chief minister about the performance of the CyberKnife facility, Dr Mahmood said that Karachi had 67,000 new cancer patients every year.

Cancer patients from many cities of the country were being treated at the facility and now it was known as a ‘Magic Knife’ in Pakistan, he said, adding that another CyberKnife unit was being built at the JPMC with a cost of $4.1m and work would be completed by the end of 2019.

At CyberKnife, 24 cancer patients are treated every day while at the JPMC’s cancer ward 120 patients and at the outpatient department 200 patients are given free-of-cost treatment.

The chief minister said that his government would contribute $700,000 for CyberKnife units by 2020.

He was told that a tomotherapy project was also being installed at a cost of $4m. There were 16 tomotherapy machines working all over the world and it would be the 17th facility at the JPMC.

The chief minister assured the CyberKnife and Patients’ Aid Foundation representatives that his government would support them in every step taken for the treatment of cancer patients.

Mr Chhapra said that the Farheen & Ashraf Mukaty Jinnah Food Complex was being established where free meals would be offered to all attendants.

Talking about 2019-20 projects, the chief minister was told that the department of neuromedicine and stroke unit were being established and work on department of psychiatry & behavioural sciences was also in progress.

Dr Mahmood said that the 2,000-bed surgical complex was being constructed at a cost of $35m.

The chief minister pledged $7m for completion of the under-construction surgical complex and directed the finance secretary to manage the funds.

The chief minister directed the CyberKnife unit chief to make necessary arrangements to establish a satellite centre in Sukkur so that patients from northern parts of the province, Balochistan and Punjab could be provided treatment there.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2019