PM to lay stone for Rs. 450-crore state-of-the art facility being set up by BARC

Punjab’s war on cancer will receive a fillip when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lays the foundation stone for a super specialty treatment and research centre at Mullanpur town on the outskirts of Chandigarh on December 30.

The Rs. 450-crore state-of-the-art facility is being established by the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre on the lines of the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who is a cancer survivor, is personally leading the campaign against the disease. His wife succumbed to it.

On Monday, he gave consent for starting the scheme of providing cashless treatment to patients at one-and-half dozen empanelled hospitals from January. Treatment will be financed from the Chief Minister’s Cancer Relief Fund. Under the scheme, patients need not obtain prior sanction for availing themselves of the facilities there.

According to Health Secretary Vinni Mahajan, a government census revealed that cancer caused 34,430 deaths in recent years and another 24,659 persons were still afflicted.

Apart from empanelling hospitals for subsidised treatment, the government has come up with the Cancer and Drug Addiction Treatment Infrastructure Act 2013 and raised a corpus of about Rs. 250 crore from various activities in the public sector and set up specialised facilities for treatment.

There will be a dedicated wing for cancer treatment in the satellite centre of the Chandigarh-based Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research at Sangrur, for which the foundation stone was laid in October by Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Mr. Azad announced that the Union Government had cleared a dedicated facility for cancer treatment at Hoshiarpur as well.