Message from the Director
National Cancer Institute, Maharagama is the sole Cancer Institute in Sri Lanka which caters services to cancer patients round the entire country. This includes paediatric patients as well as adult male and female stricken with all types of cancer.
At present, we have facilities for basic diagnosis, surgical management, radiotherapy and chemotherapy management. Even though we have facilities for 934 beds in our hospital, on daily basis we serve for more than 1000 inward patients and another 1000 patients obtaining treatment from the Out Patient Department (OPD) and clinics.
Our bed occupancy rate is 110. As the pioneer hospital for cancer in Sri Lanka, we have to provide all necessary facilities in diagnosing and treatment and follow up. Unfortunately at present, we do not have the facilities for PET CT scan in our institute, which is an important need during the preliminary diagnosis followed by treatment an
At present our patients who need this facility is referred to the private sector which is at the price i.e. Rs. 150,000 for each case. Therefore, unfortunately the underprivileged cannot afford to turn to the private sector for assistance and we are left high and dry facing us to treat the patients at random.
This will throw light to the fact of the urgent need for this facility in our hospital.
Dr. M.Y.K. WILFRAD
MBBS, Msc, MD, Dip.HR, CG.UK.
Consultant Medical Director,
National Cancer Institute, Maharagama.
Message from the Founder Chairman, Kadijah Foundation
Two years back I would not have thought for a moment that I would be a frequent visitor to APEKSHA Hospital, which was also known in more horrifying terms as ‘Maharagama Cancer Hospital’. It is even unimaginable to comprehend that the reason for my frequent visits is my one and only son.
I was leading a phenomenal life full of delight and treat that every man would dream to enjoy even for a single day. Occasional and minor adversities were buried under the overwhelming indulgence. Until one day, the tragedy of my life was slapped on my face. I was given a disastrous breaking news that my son was afflicted with a cancer; a news that sent shivers down my spine; a news that turned my limbs numb; a news that would change my life forever.
Dreams shattered and hopes fading, the life thereafter for me was an unchosen and constant battle between life and death. Unattended business and lack of focus brought life almost to a dead end. Every morning I would wish that my past life was only a nightmare.
The medical expenses at some of the world’s most advanced hospitals costed me several of my properties to sell. Nevertheless, I was determined to provide the best to my dearest son. But circumstances forced me to obtain the additional treatments from the government hospital at Maharagama.
I was amazed at the hospitality and the friendliness of the doctors and the support staff at the hospital so much so that I regretted of spending colossal amounts in overseas hospitals that provided almost similar service. I was also astonished as to the generosity of many donors some of them even had made advanced payments for various scans for several patients totally unknown to them.
During one of my routine counselling sessions that are provided by well qualified doctors at the hospital for the relatives of the patients, I was shocked to be informed that the one and only government cancer hospital in the country lacks a PET scanner. I could not believe what I was just told and I reconfirmed from the doctor that she really meant what she said. After having involved with cancer for so long, I knew very well about the necessity of a PET scanner in a cancer hospital. It is one of the most vital tools that the doctors can use to continue the treatment more accurately. Without a PET scanner the treatment is only a guess work. It is like an audience watching a cricket match without a score board.
If patient in Sri Lanka need to have a PET scan they must go to a private hospital in Colombo that would charge Rs.150,000 per scan; the cost of same in India is Indian Rs.10,000 (Sri Lankan Rs.22,000). During the course of the treatment a patient requires to take many PET scans so that the doctors can be more accurate with the treatment. This unfortunately means, 99% of the cancer patients in Sri Lanka are not in a financial situation to afford a PET scan at a private hospital; and they instead opt to try their luck by the guess works and leave everything else to the fate - which is death.
Determined and motivated by the hospitality and the generosity seen at the hospital, I immediately pledged the doctor that I would bring a PET scanner to the hospital. The doctor sarcastically asked me whether I knew the price of the scanner to which I replied in the negative. I was informed that it costs around Rs.200 million.
This made me more determined and resolute. I confidently believed that with so many generous and empathetic people around, I could gather them all and donate a PET scanner to APEKSHA Hospital. With several milestones already achieved towards this goal, I already feel a great and unexplainable sense of satisfaction. The tiny drop of joyous tear you see from a cancer patient is well worth than a mere Rs.200 million.
I advise those who go for treatments overseas that they should first visit APEKSHA Hospital and check the quality of the service. You would find it in par with international standards. You can save millions of Rupees from wasting overseas. It is our duty to support and upgrade it to an even better standard.
I invite all of you to be part of this blessed journey that brings joy to the victims of the world’s cruelest disease!
Dr. M S H Mohamed