Institution to be set up on medical college campus at Kalamassery

It’s official. Kochi will indeed get a state-of-the-art cancer centre.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy declared that the proposed cancer centre would be set up on the campus of the Cooperative Medical College at Kalamassery recently taken over by the government.

He said that the project would receive an allocation in the forthcoming State budget. An expert committee and a special officer would be appointed shortly to file a report on the proposed centre.

Mr. Chandy was announcing the decisions taken at a meeting held here on Saturday evening to deliberate over the demand for a cancer centre in Kochi.

He said that another meeting would be held to identify the source of funding for the cancer centre proposed in the public sector.

Local bodies in the district have expressed willingness to associate themselves with the project. Besides, the scope for mobilising the support of the industrial units in Kochi as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives is also being considered. A meeting would be held with the stakeholders including people’s representatives to decide the matter.

The proposed cancer centre would not operate as part of the medical college. Land alone would be sourced from the college. Efforts would be made for developing the medical college alongside the setting up of the cancer centre.

Mr. Chandy said that the people’s representatives from district have been demanding a cancer centre since the United Democratic Front government came to power. The demand intensified only after the takeover of the Cooperative Medical College by the State government.

Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar said that as a prelude to the initiative, a year-long awareness campaign against cancer would be kick-started in February. An action plan has been formed for the campaign to be carried out with the cooperation of local bodies.

Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K.V. Thomas called for a comprehensive report for the time-bound completion of the project. Fisheries Minister K. Babu said that budgetary allocation should be provided for launching the project in the next financial year.

P. Rajeev, MP, said that a reputed organisation should be appointed as the consultant to ensure the setting up of a centre of international standards.

PWD Minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju; Mayor Tony Chammany; MPs K.P. Dhanapalan and Charles Diaz; MLAs Hibi Eden, Benny Behanan, Dominic Presentation, T.U. Kuruvilla, Ludy Lewis, V.P. Sajeendran, Anwar Sadat, and V.D. Satheeshan; Deputy Mayor B. Bhadra; Kalamassery Municipal Chairman Jamal Manakkadan; District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed; Regional Cancer Centre director Paul Sebastian; Malabar Cancer Centre director B. Satheeshan; NRHM State director M. Beena; and DMO V. Geetha attended the meeting.

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