11 lakh new cases and 5 lakh deaths reported every year in the country

The Union Cabinet has sanctioned the setting up of 71 stand-alone cancer care institutes throughout India at a cost of Rs.6,650 crores in order to tackle the problem posed by the increasing incidence of cancer and the increasing deaths due to cancer in the country, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad has said.

Inaugurating the Platinum Jubilee Celebration of the Dr. Ida B. Scudder Cancer Centre (Department of Radiation Oncology) and a Conference on `Leadership in Cancer Care-Excellence with Relevance’ at the Christian Medical College here on Friday, Mr. Azad said that as per the Cabinet decision taken a fortnight ago, one of the 71 institutes would be a national institute, 20 State-level, 27 regional and 23 tertiary. The only existing national level cancer institute, viz., the Chitharanjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, would be upgraded at a cost of Rs.535 crores. Tamil Nadu would have one State-level and one or two tertiary cancer care institutes, he said.

The Minister said 11 lakh new cancer cases and five lakh deaths were reported every year in the country. The new institutes were being started in order that the government was ready to tackle the increasing incidence of cancer.

Mr. Azad said that 19 government medical college (GMC) hospitals in the country have been upgraded into super speciality hospitals under the PMSSY (Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana), including one in Salem in Tamil Nadu. The Centre has also sanctioned the upgradation of 39 more GMC Hospitals into super speciality hospitals in cardiology, neurology and oncology at a cost of Rs.5,900 crores.

Mr. Azad deplored the reluctance among the medical students to serve in rural areas despite the concessions given by the government, resulting in an acute shortage of human resources in health in the villages. He wanted the medical curriculum to inculcate in the students a desire to serve in rural areas.

Raju Titus Chacko, Associate Director, Alfred Job Daniel, Principal, C.E. Eapen, Medical Superintendent and Subashini John, Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology of the CMC participated.

More In: National | News | Health | Sci-Tech