Breast cancer screening facility inaugurated

LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Khawaja Salman Rafique and Secretary Health Najam Ahmed Shah inaugurated the first public sector breast cancer screening centre at Lady Aitcheson Hospital (LAH) on Tuesday.

The centre has been established at a cost of Rs90 million to provide diagnostic facilities to patients. Speaking on the occasion, Rafique said a lot of improvement has been brought in the health sector by taking various steps. He added that these initiatives in the health sector were being enhanced in Punjab.

‘Early diagnosis is key to beating cancer’

He said a breast cancer screening facility has been established at Lady Aitcheson Hospital to facilitate patients. Rafique further said that under the direct supervision of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the health sector was developing rapidly. He continued that over the last few years, a number of new hospitals were constructed and the capacity of existing health institutes had also been also enhanced.

He said the upgrade and revamp of hospitals and health centres was being implemented, while new medical equipment and gadgets including CT scans, x-ray machines and ventilators were being installed at hospitals at the cost of billions of rupees.

King Edward Medical University Vice Chancellor Professor Qazi Saeed, LAH Medical Superintendent Dr Samina Naseer, faculty members, doctors, nurses and paramedics attended the inaugural ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Naseer said all the facilities have been gathered under one roof to help patients coming to the hospital. She said counseling counters had also been established in the breast screening centre to convince the patients of medical checkups to remove the doubt of cancer.

‘When the neighbours heard cancer, they deserted me’

She said most women were hesitant over sharing such problems with others. Dr Naseer was of the view that many did not even discuss these issues with their family members. She said that the situation ultimately reached a point where the disease would penetrate to internal body parts.

“Our mission is to promote prevention in society and to protect women from breast cancer. The centre has been equipped with a digital mammography machine, digital ultrasound machine and digital X-ray machine. The hospital will extend these facilities to the patients free of cost,” she underlined.

Talking to the media, Specialised Healthcare Secretary Najam Ahmed Shah said breast cancer screening centres would also be established in other hospitals and the model of LAH would be replicated in other public sector health institutes as well.

He appreciated the professional dedication and hard work of Dr Samina Naseer who played a pivotal role in completing various development projects in the hospital including the breast cancer centre, daycare centre and laundry plant etc. The secretary said Dr Naseer took personal interest and worked day and night to accomplish the task. Shah said the government was implementing a “patient first” policy and all resources were being spent to provide quality healthcare to patients.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2017.

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