Patient Support Services

The Hospital aims to support their patients, families and friends during their visit to the hospital; and in so doing address their psychological, mental and spiritual needs. There are a number of additional support services to address patient needs, which include the Counselling and Psychological Services (PALS), Health Education Unit and Spiritual Services. If you are interested in accessing these specialist services, please visit their respective service page for more information. There is also additional information on supporting facilities, including information on patient transport, lodging at the new hostel as well as the nearby hospice.


The National Cancer Institute Help Centre (PALs) aims to offer support and information to anyone affected by cancer.

The National Cancer Institute Help Centre is here to assist people living with cancer; people suspected to have cancer; patients’ families and friends; as well as the hospital workers involved in patient care. PALS work closely with clinicians and nurses at the National cancer Institute, and have links with local hospitals and community-based institutions.

We understand that the diagnosis of cancer will have a drastic impact on individuals, giving rise to all kinds of questions. PALs are able to find answers to many of those questions, and through our services seek to:

  • Provide information about services at the National Cancer Institute
  • Signpost other Health and Social care resources, which may be available in the community (including cancer support groups, career support services)
  • Respond to any questions or concerns concerning your treatment and care
  • Support patients, their families and friends (PALs listen to all ideas and voices and tries to resolve any concerns about care or services)

Our specific services include:

The cancer information service complements the information given to patients by clinicians. We believe that finding the right information and support can help patients and their family to cope in a better way. Information is available about cancer itself, its treatment, effects and side effects. We also have information about the help and support available to help patients live with cancer. This can be found in different forms, such as leaflets, booklets, audio-visuals, and through the Internet. Visitors can browse through the information with the support of a Health Care Professional or talk to a Patient Information Officer in the Centre. Visitors are also welcome to browse through our library as well as booklets and leaflets. We also offer Internet access and can help visitors to search for information. These services are available to cancer patients free of charge.

Please visit our website ( where online versions of booklets can be downloaded.


PALS provides a confidential counselling service for patients and their families (free of charge) by a team of specially trained and experienced doctors, nurses and clinical psychologists. They can provide a listening ear, talk things over and help to relieve some of the distress. Members of the team can help you to gain more insight, and find the best answers for you.

We offer support to all our patients their families and friends at any stage of cancer experience. Where appropriate we can refer you to other professionals for specialist or more long-term support.

An interpreting service is available at PALS. If Sinhalese is not your first language please ask the clinician in charge or nurse to contact us.

We offer a drop- in service Monday to Saturday. NO appointment is necessary. You can drop in for a chat or to browse through literature. We are usually open between 8.00 am and 4.00 pm. However, if you are making a special trip to visit the center, we suggest that you call a day before for confirmation.

The center is situated on the 2nd floor of the new OPD complex. It is on your right as you come out from the lift. You can call in during opening hours (8.00 am -4.00pm) 7 days a week. You can also contact the Centre by their general telephone No 2850252/3 ext 494 or on their direct telephone No. 011 2844459 during working hours or by email

A team member of PALS will attend to your inquiry as soon.

Health Education


The Health Education Unit seeks to educate and inform patients, their family and friends on cancer and the treatment process. The Unit has a range of materials, including audio-visuals, booklets, leaflets, posters and lectures to help others to understand the facts about cancer. The information is freely available to anyone. The members of the Health Education Unit are more than happy to discuss any problems and share their knowledge with visitors.

The Health Education Unit also provides in-service programs for workers at the National Cancer Institute – which is a prior necessity particularly for nurses attending training school.
Information can also be shared with school children, and others from the community, who wish to use the information in their own projects or for their own dissemination.

The Health Education Unit can be found on the 1st floor of the Outpatients Department.


The new hostel – kindly donated by the CCC Foundation of Australia – was opened in 2013. Recognizing that patients are unable to make the multiple trips to and from the hospital during their treatment, the hostel aims to provide patients and their families food and lodging. The new hostel offers a calming, relaxing environment for patients and families. There are approximately 43 rooms and Ward facilities for 75 patients – both adult and children. The hostel is particularly beneficial for patients’ relatives – especially mothers who would like to remain close to their children during their treatment. Additional amenities at the hostel include TV rooms, a courtyard, parking and catering kitchens.



The Shanta Sevena Hospice is located just outside the hospital premises. The Hospice, run by the Sri Lanka Cancer Society, provides care for cancer patients who are approaching the end of their life. The Hospice provides a serene and calming environment for cancer patients. If you are interested in visiting the hospice, and would like more information please contact:

The Sri Lanka Cancer Society

  • 37/25 Bullers Lane, Colombo – 07
  • Telephone: +94- 1 1 – 2585879
  • Email –


The NCIM has six ambulances, which are on-call for emergency admissions. Our team of ambulance drivers is readily available to assist during emergency calls.
Transport for non-emergency admissions can be supported through the network of local transport. The hospital is conveniently located near Maharagama town, and there are several bus routes that approach close-by to the hospital.
Furthermore, there are two drop off points at the hospital: one at the main entrance, and one at the front of the Outpatients Department. Parking near the hospital is limited for hospital workers, but there are future plans for a parking complex.

Patient Transport


Hospital stays can be an important time for reflection and prayer. The hospital recognises the importance of spiritual council during this time, and will therefore make arrangements for a monk to visit a patient (and their relatives) upon request. If you require spiritual services, please speak to your ward sisters and assistant workers who will assist you in your request.