Delhi

Curious public check out facilities at NCI Jhajjar

India’s largest cancer hospital-cum-research facility, the National Cancer Institute, established at Jhajjar was opened for the general public on Tuesday.

India’s largest cancer hospital-cum-research facility, the National Cancer Institute, established at Jhajjar was opened for the general public on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Facility is a soft launch to assess shortcomings and ways in which patients’ time consumed and their discomfort can be reduced: duty officer

The National Cancer Institute, India’s largest cancer hospital-cum-research facility established at Haryana’s Jhajjar, threw open its doors for the general public on Tuesday and is currently seeing a regular flow of patients and their relatives who are coming here “to check out the facility, availability of doctors, beds and assurance of continued treatment here”.

Aimed at strengthening the research facility in the country and dispersing the patient load at All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ (AIIMS) cancer centre, Delhi, the 710-bed hospital, built at the cost of ₹2,035 crore, has currently opened its four-storey out-patient department (OPD) block.

The wards are scheduled to open on January 14. The OPD has since its opening registered 8-10 cases “and several relatives and patients from AIIMS, Delhi, and neighbouring States like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal, have been coming here to enquire if they could continue their treatment at this new facility to escape the crowd at various established government facilities,” said Naveen Gowda, duty officer at the facility.

Patients and their relatives said that they do not mind the trek in the cold to “check-out” the facility. Pinki Aggarwal, who came here from Rohini on her scooter at 9 a.m. for registration on Thursday, said that she wanted to know if the facility has good doctors.

“My husband was operated at a private hospital in Delhi for mouth cancer in 2016. Today I have come with my son to enquire if I can register here to get my husband’s treatment started at the institute. We cannot afford any more medical treatment at a private facility and he is not strong enough to withstand the long queues and jostling for diagnostics, treatment and therapy at any established government facilities in Delhi,” she said.

Ramanad who came from Faridabad with his wife and son said that they wanted to find out if they could shift the treatment of their one-year-old grandchild to the Jhajjar facility. “She has been diagnosed with cancer recently and we want to provide the best. The other facility in and around Delhi are extremely crowded and it is a huge task getting to a doctor or dates for follow-up treatments. We are here to speak to the doctors and take their opinion,” he said.

Staffers

The OPD currently has 12-15 doctors and 19 staff nurses and the process is on to recruit more when the project expands. The Jhajjar project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on December 26, 2013, and the hospital’s foundation stone was laid on January 3, 2014 by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2014. It is expected to be fully operational by December 2020. This centre is part of the AIIMS-II campus at Jhajjar, for which the Haryana government provide 300 acres of land to the AIIMS. The institute has come up in 35 acres. The hospital has a sanctioned strength of 2,705 staff. The first-phase recruitment is for 636 staffers, of which 100 have already been appointed.

G.K. Rath, head, National Cancer Institute said that it has been modelled after United States’ National Cancer Institute and will be the nodal centre for all cancer-related activities in the country. Apart from treatment, the centre’s main focus will be on research in India-specific cancers.

“This is an institute for the people and by the people. We are going to be looking at India-specific trends in cancers, causes and also working on the drugs and therapies,” Dr. Rath said.

Dr. Gowda said: “Currently what we have done is a soft launch to assess our shortcoming and ways in which we can reduce the patient’s time consumed and discomfort. This period is also going to be used to check out the stress that the system can take on. It is vital to run these tests now so that when patients come in we are able to carry out a seamless operation for them. It is also a learning curve for our staff. Our labs, diagnostics and therapies are to start soon. We are already getting good response from patients. We know that the pace will pick up earlier than anticipated if the current trend is anything to go by.”

Meanwhile, it is not just patients and relatives who are coming in to check the facility, but people from nearby villages are also doing some “sightseeing” here. “We heard that the AIIMS has come here so we thought we should see what the place is like,” said Ram Dhan and his friend who strolled in to “see” the OPD.

“We get so many picnickers. They are not allowed inside the hospital though,” said a security staff.

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Printable version | Mar 27, 2020 8:18:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/curious-public-check-out-facilities-at-nci-jhajjar/article25793200.ece

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