An interview with Jameel Yusuf (S.St.)

Agha Masood

Q. Who is currently the Head and had conceived the idea to establish Baitul Sukoon Cancer Hospital & Hospice (BSCHH), treating terminally-ill cancer patients?
A. The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees who also happens to be the Founder of Baitul Sukoon is Mrs. Zainab Y. Ebrahim and she had initially envisaged establishing the facility of a Hospice for the terminally ill cancer patients in 1999.
Q. What is your responsibility?
A. I have lately been invited by the Chairperson, BSCHH Board of Trustees to be its
Co-Chairperson. They have entrusted me the task to help guide and strengthen the administration, plan awareness programs, initiate further improvements, expansion and to make the new operation theatre operational, so as to carry out the surgeries within our hospital immediately after Eidul Fitr. Of course, for a quality health facility which is totally free and treating one of the most expensive illness i.e. cancer, a lot of funds are required and the BOTs expects me to join them and we can all collectively generate the required funds as the people of Karachi are extremely philanthropic and compassionate towards the education & medical needs of the less privileged.
Q. How many patients visit the hospital on a daily basis and how many are admitted?
A. We have approximately an average of 90-100 patients in the outpatient department (OPD), with 15 to 20 patients requiring daycare treatment of chemotherapy, blood transfusion, laboratory tests etc., whereas, 8 to 10 patients are admitted on a daily basis. We have to-date attended to over 117,000 OPD cases, 21,000+ patients with Hospice support, 4,610 surgeries, 168,180 courses of chemotherapy on 28,000 patients and 130,387 courses of radiotherapy on 5,700 patients.
Q. What is the source of income of this hospital, could you tell us about the daily expenditure?
A. We have no source of income as besides hospital care, even the medicines, X-Rays, Mamogram etc. are all free of cost. Our only source of income is through donations from corporates under their CSR and compassionate individuals both locally & abroad, who have the passion and are blessed to help the less privileged & unfortunate through their cash & kind donations including Zakat,as well as sponsoring expensive equipment needing upgradation or other requirements on a regular basis.
Last year we had spent approx. Rs.140 million, i.e. Rs.450,000/day and with the expansion of services to include the operation theatre, additional beds, air-conditioning of the wards, rising costs of medicines and utilities, enhancement and upgradation of facilities, etc. we would require approx. Rs.250 million during 2021-2022.
Q. How many doctors and paramedical staff are working in this hospital?
A. We have presently around 30 Nurses, Ward Boys & Pharmacists, 17 Doctors, 8 consultants, 9 RMOs and 2 surgeons. We also have Advisory Board comprising leading doctors and surgeons to monitor and guide the BOT so as to maintain a high quality of services at BSCHH. The strength will increase with commencement of the Operation Theatre next month.
Q. Does this hospital have a Board of Directors under you to look after its financial resources?
A. We have a Board of Trustees for BSCHH each member of which has been delegated different responsibilities so as to effectively & efficiently be able to manage the hospital affairs. We then jointly address various issues and quarterly plan the way forward.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. We have taken a plot near the Memon Hospital and plan to construct a dedicated hospice & daycare center for those patients in advanced stages of cancer and provide them with the maximum of comfort and care to reduce their pains & suffering, as there was no cure for them. Secondly, there are many families who desire only daycare facility for such patients as there is no one at home to take care of them, when they go to work. Such a facility would give them the satisfaction of taking care of their loved ones themselves, while the Hospice would care for them during their absence or when at work for which a pick and drop facility could be provided. This would be for the first time that such a facility is developed which is greatly needed.

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