The Palliative Medicine Unit of Kasr Al-Ainy: A model of palliative cancer care in Egypt.

Alsirafy SA. "The Palliative Medicine Unit of Kasr Al-Ainy: A model of palliative cancer care in Egypt.". In: 5th International African Palliative Care Conference. Kampala, Uganda.; 2016. copy at

Date Presented:

19 August


The aim(s) of the project/research: To develop a model of palliative care (PC) service for advanced cancer patients in Egypt
Problem statement - What is the problem / gap addressed by the project/research: The majority of cancer patients in Egypt present in an advanced stage and many of them die yearly. The PC needs of these patients are largely unmet.
Methodology: In 2008 the palliative medicine unit of Kasr Al-Ainy (PMU-KA) was established at Kasr Al-Ainy Center of Clinical Oncology as the first university hospital-based PC service in Egypt. Currently the service integrates 3 PC models: outpatient (6 clinics/week), inpatient (PC beds and consultation service) and home care (physician visits and collaboration with home care service). There are 3 full time physicians in addition to ancillary services from the nursing, physiotherapy and social work disciplines of the cancer center.
Results: In 2015, more than 750 new cases were referred to the PMU-KA. The number of outpatient consultations exceeded 4,300 with an average of 26 consultations/clinic, while the number of inpatient consultations was 382. The opioid consumption increased by more than 8-fold after the establishment of the PMU-KA.
Conclusions: The PMU-KA represents a model of PC that can be implemented in other cancer centers with limited resources in Egypt.
Lessons learned: The current resources available in Egyptian cancer care facilities can be utilized to establish suitable PC in underserved areas throughout Egypt.
Recommendations for research: Future research is needed to explore the effectiveness of PMU-KA-like models in meeting the PC needs of advanced cancer patients.
Recommendations for practice: The utilization of already available resources in cancer centers for the development of PC is feasible in resource limited settings.