The State will have a cancer registry to collect details of all cancer cases in Tamil Nadu, Health Minister V.S. Vijay informed the Assembly on Thursday.

Moving the demands for grants for health, Dr. Vijay said the government had also decided to establish regional cancer centres at the Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai, and the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, at a cost of Rs. 15 crore each. These centres would cater to cancer patients in the southern and western regions.

The government also proposed to launch a programme to screen the high-risk population for oral cancer and diagnose it at an early stage, Dr. Vijay said.

The proposal was mooted as most forms of cancer are treatable if detected early, but 70 per cent of patients tended to seek treatment only at an advanced stage.

Dr. Vijay said that so far 26,172 beneficiaries had undergone treatment under the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme launched on January 11 this year.

Treatments totally worth Rs.70.53 crore were offered so far.

The State government provided Rs. 750 crore for implementation of the scheme for 2012-2013.

Under the scheme, a family's insurance cover has been enhanced from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 4 lakh for a period of four years and the coverage includes diagnostic procedures.

According to the Minister, special provisions were incorporated to strengthen the role of government hospitals in implementing the scheme.

The State government also proposed to revive vaccine production and create a tissue bank at the King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research, Guindy, at a cost of Rs. 5 crore.

The Minister said the proposal was mooted as the institute's Virology Department is recognised as the National Polio Laboratory and the National Measles Laboratory for South East Asia region of the World Health Organisation.

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