Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre

Coordinates: 33°59′35″N 71°26′25″E / 33.9930°N 71.4402°E / 33.9930; 71.4402
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Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre
یادگاری اسپتالِ شوکت خانم برائے معالجہ و تحقیقِ سرطان
LocationPeshawar and Lahore (Karachi currently under construction)
Coordinates33°59′35″N 71°26′25″E / 33.9930°N 71.4402°E / 33.9930; 71.4402 (Lahore)
FundingNon-profit hospital
TypeSpecialist and teaching
Beds195 (SKMCH&RC, Lahore)
Opened29 December 1994

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (Urdu: یادگاری اسپتالِ شوکت خانم برائے معالجہ و تحقیقِ سرطان, abbreviated as SKMCH&RC/SKMCH)[1] is a cancer centre with locations in Lahore and Peshawar, Pakistan. SKMCH&RC Lahore was the first project of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, the second one being SKMCH&RC Peshawar.[2][3]


The hospital was founded by Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician and former Prime Minister. The inspiration to build a cancer hospital came after his mother, Mrs. Shaukat Khanum, succumbed to cancer in 1985. During his mother's illness, he also witnessed the plight of poor cancer patients in Pakistan's hospitals, and deeply felt the need for a specialized cancer centre in his country. He had a vision of making cancer treatment accessible to every Pakistani who needed it. This is reflected in the hospital's mission statement:

"To act as a model institution to alleviate the suffering of patients with cancer through the application of modern methods of curative and palliative therapy irrespective of their ability to pay, the education of health care professionals and the public and perform research into the causes and treatment of cancer".

Designing and execution of the master plan was overseen by Dr. Nausherwan K. Burki (MB, PhD, FRCP, FCPS, FCCP) of the University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky, in collaboration with an international team of cancer physicians and research workers. Designing and architectural services were provided by Arrasmith, Judd & Rapp, Architects in Health Planning of Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Architectural details were handled by Messrs. Nayyar Ali Dada & Associates of Lahore. Local engineering was performed by Messrs. Progressive Consultants, Lahore. The hospital land was state owned land and the use was approved by Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Ground was broken in April 1991 and the Former Prime Minister Sharif attended the opening ceremony on 29 December 1994.[4]

Since its opening, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, Lahore has received local and international recognition, including the Joint Commission International's Gold Seal of Approval and the World Health Organization's UAE Foundation Prize.

In 1992, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, Vinod Khanna, Elizabeth Hurley, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan came together for the Shaukat Khanum Appeal Concert.[5][6] In the 1990s, Diana, Princess of Wales, visited the hospital alongside her friend Jemima Khan and her two sons.[7]

Celebrity support for Shaukat Khanum has continued through the years. Notable Pakistani actor Fawad Khan dedicated his debut Bollywood film Khoobsurat to the foundation.[8][9][10] Each year, SKMCH&RC carries out two major cancer awareness campaigns: the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in October; and the Anti-Tobacco Campaign in May.

SKMCH&RC in Lahore and Peshawar provide financially supported treatment to about 75% of their patients.

Today,[when?] the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust has a presence in over fifty Pakistani cities in the form of hospitals, diagnostic centres, walk-in-clinics (cancer screening centres), and collection centres. The Trust aims to build a series of hospitals in various cities of Pakistan to bring cancer care closer to patients. Since a quarter of the patients at SKMCH&RC, Lahore were from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan, and adjoining areas, the second hospital has been built in Peshawar, the capital city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The second hospital was inaugurated on 29 December 2015 by a cancer patient in Peshawar.[15] At the completion of Phase I, it has commenced clinical services, with outpatient clinics, inpatient beds, a fully equipped intensive care unit (ICU), a full-service pharmacy, and 24-hour emergency services. Chemotherapy services are also available, of tremendous benefit to patients who previously made physically, emotionally, and financially demanding trips to Lahore for cyclical chemotherapy treatments every few weeks.

In conjunction with the commencement of clinical services, the full range of pathology and radiology services have begun in Peshawar. The Radiology department has commenced services. Surgical oncology services are expected to start in 2020 as part of Phase 3 of the development. SKMCH&RC, Peshawar is built according to the latest international healthcare standards and its covered area is even bigger than SKMCH&RC, Lahore.

Board of governors[edit]

The hospital is a project of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, a non-profit legal entity established under the laws of Pakistan. The Board of Governors formulates overall policy and consists of bankers, researchers, businessmen, and physicians. The hospital is managed by a professional team from clinical, administrative, and nursing backgrounds. former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan is the chairman of the board.

The Board of Governors of SKMT is composed of eminent individuals from diverse backgrounds, including bankers, researchers, businessmen, and physicians, who bring valuable experience to the table. The role of the Board includes governance and oversight of the clinical programmes, finances, and resource generation. Mr. Imran Khan (chairman), Dr. Nausherwan Khan Burki, Mrs. Aleema Khanum, Dr. Uzma Ahad, Mr. Ashiq Hussain Qureshi, Dr. Tauseef Ahmed, Mr. Saifuddin Zoomkawala, Mr. S.M. Muneer, Mr. Munir Kamal, Mr. Irfan Mustafa, Mr. Tariq Shafi, Mr. Ehsan Mani, Mr. Atif Bukhari.

Clinical departments[edit]


Research is needed to develop better ways of detecting and treating cancer and to improve cancer care. Over the coming years, SKMCH&RC's expanding knowledge of cancer genetics will have a major impact on its ability to predict an individual's level of risk of developing cancer, to detect and diagnose cancer early, and to select treatments that are most likely to be effective. Ultimately, the genetic revolution may lead to ways of preventing cancer. The genetic revolution provides major opportunities for identifying people at risk of cancer and for developing better treatments. At the moment such studies are limited in Pakistan.

SKMCH&RC's research is organized in three streams:

  • Epidemiology, which seeks to understand the lifestyle and environmental causes of cancer
  • Molecular biology, which will enable the development of better ways of predicting treatment responses and disease outcome i.e. molecular markers
  • Clinical trials, which are primarily focused on the evaluation of existing and new therapies.

The Management Information Systems (MIS) Department has developed a state-of-the-art hospital information system. Through this system, the research team has been able to handle the logistics of a large hospital, documenting a wealth of patient information.

SKMCH&RC's objective is to explore the bridge between laboratory and clinic through the support of translational studies in areas of diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. It is important to maintain research concerned with cancer in the local population, addressing issues of prevention through studies on the effects of genetic make-up, environment, and lifestyle.

The research section has been developed over the last five years and, recently, received a donation to refurbish the third floor of the hospital into a research wing, housing a suite of research laboratories, a data management and epidemiology division, as well as a clinical research section responsible for clinical trials.

The team of researchers is expanding and several projects are underway. Currently, Basic Sciences Research is divided into three main areas of interest and several projects are being conducted:

Identification of genetic risk factors in the development of cancer

Tumor virology

Infections and cancer

Quantitative PCR for detection and quantification of fungal infections in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and myelodysplastic syndrome.


A new branch of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital is planned for Karachi and is currently being built and is projected to be completed by 2023.[11]

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital is planned for Bahawalpur. Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital Lahore and Defence Housing Authority Bahawalpur on 26 July 2019. It will be built in DHA Bahawalpur on area of 400 Canal. It is assumed that it will be Pakistan's largest cancer hospital.


Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Center, Peshawar branch, has now earned Joint Commission International's Gold Seal of Approval® for Hospital Accreditation after strictly following compliance with its standards which are recognized globally.[12]

Regional offices[edit]

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center has regional offices throughout Pakistan, in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad and Sialkot. Moreover, the hospital has expanded its marketing and fundraising reach to cities like Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Rahim Yar Khan and Sahiwal.

It has overseas offices in England, the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Norway.


There have been some allegations of misuse of funds[13] by Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, such as siphoning off some funds for the political party Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf, being also run by the founder of SKMCH. SKMCH has denied these allegations.[14]

Fundraiser cancellation[edit]

In an unprecedented move, a planned fundraiser event for Shaukat Khanum Karachi had to be cancelled on 29 December 2023 as Islamabad's Additional District Magistrate, Abdullah Mehmood, withdrew the NOC granted for the event and threatened the cancer hospital with legal consequences if the event were to take place. No reason was given for the withdrawal.[15] The move was widely condemned, with the President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi terming it as “cutting off one’s nose to spite the face" in an allusion to the ongoing crackdown against Imran Khan's political party. [16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brand Book of SKMCH&RC, Official. "The official Urdu name of SKMCH&RC" (PDF). [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ SKMH becomes ‘largest’ radiation oncology facility provider
  3. ^ Shaukat Khanum. "Hospital Zakat Appeal" (PDF). Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "History". SKMCH&RC. Archived from the original on 4 July 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan at Imran Khan Cancer Appeal Show - video Dailymotion". 3 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Imran Cancer Appeal Concert | Forums".
  7. ^ "Princess Diana visits Hospital in Pakistan (2) |". Archived from the original on 21 August 2016.
  8. ^ [user-generated source]
  9. ^ "Pride of Pakistan:fawad afzal khan". Archived from the original on 22 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Fawad Khan in Gala Dinner at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital-High Quality Pictures! |". 21 April 2013.
  11. ^ "PM Imran visits site of Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital in Karachi". 18 April 2021.
  12. ^ JCI-Accredited Organizations
  13. ^ "Foreign funding case: Hospital donors unaware their donations siphoned off to PTI". The News.
  14. ^ "'Hospital funds diversion to third party report absolutely baseless'". The News.
  15. ^ "Government disallows fundraiser for cancer hospital". Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  16. ^ "President Alvi asks govt to allow SKMCH's fundraising event". The Nation. 30 December 2023. Retrieved 30 December 2023.

External links[edit]