Patient Care Services
The National Cancer Institute provides several patient care services. When visiting the hospital, patients may be visiting either the clinics as an outpatient, or staying on the ward as an inpatient. As an outpatient of inpatient, patients can access care services, particularly for the management of their cancer-related symptoms. The Consultants may suggest additional care – such as dental care, pain management, physiotherapy and speech therapy. This will depend upon the patient’s specific cancer type and related symptoms. The patient care services are provided in the hospital. Some services, including dental care, pain management, speech therapy and physiotherapy may be offered on a clinic rotation. Please check the clinic page for more information on the time for these services. If you have been requested to seek additional patient care services, from the list above, and require further information please consult your Consultant in charge.
The blood bank is led by an expert Consultant and includes a team of 10 doctors. The blood bank is the center of coordination for the handling of blood samples and donations. Their responsibilities include collecting blood mobile clinics, processing blood using technical machinery, as well as the distribution of blood to both wards (for indoor and outdoor patients) and other hospitals.
The hospital provides a daily dental clinic to treat patients with cancer-related problems affecting the teeth. Our skilled dental surgeons offer dental treatment on a daily basis. Approximately 15 patients are treated daily in the dental clinic, located on the first floor of the central building.
The National Cancer Institute is the leading center in Sri Lanka to offer inpatient care for cancer patients. There are over 20 wards and 800 beds at the hospital – for both adult and children undergoing any type of treatment. Apart from general wards the hospital provides special Medical Intensive Care Units (MICU) as well as Surgical Intensive Care Units (SICU) – to assist those with additional care attention. The hospital aims to provide expert care and quality services for its inpatients. Under the 30 expert Consultants at the hospital there are over 200 doctors, 400 nurses as well as over 300 minor workers. Clinicians, nurses or minor workers are always available to assist patients during their inpatient stay. Each ward will have the necessary facilities for patients, including electrical appliances, toilet facilities and showers. Some wards will also have TV units. The hospital kitchen provides warm meals.
The kidney dialysis machine was set up to support patients with specific care needs related to the functioning of the kidney. A number of patients visiting the hospital require kidney dialysis – related to morbidities in addition to their cancer. The kidney dialysis machine is located in the dialysis room adjacent to the Medical Intensive Care Unit (adults) and is managed by a Consultant- led team.
As a major cancer hospital, the National Cancer Institute stocks and supplies a large number of cancer medicines, and medicine for the treatment of cancer-related symptoms. The hospital has a team of fully trained pharmacists who work at the pharmacy to deliver treatment requests. The pharmacy is located on the Ground Floor of the Outpatient Department and at the new Razavi Medical Complex.
The National Cancer Institute runs several clinics daily to assist patients as outpatients. The clinics take place in the Outpatients Department. During the clinic times, patients can speak to expert Consultants regarding their specific health needs. The Consultants will assess the patients’ health status, and make a clinical decisions regarding future action. Different clinics include – Medical, Surgical, Cancer (General), Gynecological, Breast, Dental and Pain Management. An average of 40 patients are attended to at each clinic daily. To find out the daily clinic times and dates please follow this link. During their visit to the hospital patients can access the catering facilities in the Ground Floor of the Outpatients Department.
The NCI offers a weekly pain management clinic to assess and manage patients presenting with pain-related symptoms. The clinic is managed by a team of skilled Anaesthetics who carefully assess patients’ symptoms, and administer the appropriate treatment. Currently an average of ten patients are attended to weekly at the pain clinic.
Physiotherapy involves the treatment of the physical problems that may arise as a result of cancer and subsequent treatment. Physiotherapy, therefore, aims to improve the quality of patients’ lives. The Department is run by two government-qualified physiotherapists, who offer the physiotherapeutic treatment and assessment of both outpatients and inpatients daily.
Aimed specifically for:
- Pre- and post-surgical patients undergoing radical oncological surgeries – thereby seeking to improve the quality of their lives
- Inpatients who suffer from peripheral or central neuropathy (pain of the nervous system)
- Outpatients – and home programmes consisting of exercises tailored to the patient’s specific needs.
- Specific treatments for patients with lymphedema and spondylosis
The Department has a number of modern facilities and includes a postural mirror – that assists in the assessment of patients who have postural defects. The postural mirror is currently the only one available across all the Departments of Physical Medicine in Sri Lanka.
Specific treatments include those for patients with lymphoedema (swelling of an arm or leg). Swelling can be reduced through therapeutic exercise, massage in elevation, and external appliances such as treatment with an intermittent compressing system (increasing and decreasing pressure around the limb on a time cycle). The compressing system is currently the only system available across the Departments of Physical Medicine.
For soft tissue injuries such as cervical spondylosis, stiff and painful joints, low back pain (all peripheral and vertebral joints) the Department offers treatment by passive movements (passive accessory and physiological movement).
The speech therapy unit provides service to patients who have speech, language or swallowing problems. Services are available on weekdays to inpatients and outpatients referred form the ward or clinics.
Patients who have throat cancer lose their voice completely after a laryngectomy (surgical treatment). Voice rehabilitation options for them include using a voice prosthesis, electronic larynx, or oesophageal voice. Patients can learn to use the option they select during the therapy.
Many people with head and neck cancer have trouble speaking clearly or have a change of voice after surgery or radiotherapy. Some find it hard to eat and drink or develop trismus (Difficulty opening the mouth). Patients who have brain tumours can have difficulty remembering and using words.
Speech therapy helps these patients to regain the functions is some cases or to compensate and reduce the problem to an acceptable level in others. Information and counseling is also provided to the patient and family.