MCC to be developed into full-fledged cancer hospital

Special Correspondent

KANNUR: Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy has said that the Malabar Cancer Centre (MCC) at Kodiyeri, near Thalassery, will be developed into a full-fledged hospital with facilities that are available at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) in Thiruvananthapuram.

At a press conference here on Tuesday, Ms. Sreemathy said the MCC would be upgraded to the status of the RCC in 18 months as steps were on to enhance the facilities there. The MCC would conduct all types of bone tumour surgeries, including the costly limb-salvage surgery, at a very low cost with the objective of helping cancer patients from weaker sections.

The MCC, started under the Power Department with Canadian financial assistance promised as part of the controversial Pallivasal-Sengulam-Panniar power project rehabilitation agreement with the SNC-Lavalin, was inaugurated by the former Chief Minister E.K. Nayanar on November 21, 2000.

The MCC was transferred to the Health Department last year.

Ms. Sreemathy said the government had earmarked Rs.10 crore for upgrading the MCC. The Union Health Minister had also assured a matching grant to the MCC, she said.

Linear accelerator

It was decided to install linear accelerator costing Rs.9 crore at the centre, she said. The MCC would conduct monthly continuing medical education programmes on various areas of oncology for doctors. Training programmes for paramedical staff at the MCC were also in the pipeline, she said.

Setting up of a breast cancer support group was also planned, Ms. Sreemathy said. The MCC would start various courses such as certificate courses in oncology nursing and nursing assistant course.

The government would shoulder the entire treatment expense of cancer patients below 18 years, she said.

B. Satheeshan, new director of the MCC, who was present said the MCC would conduct public awareness programmes in different parts of Malabar.

Oncology specialists from the MCC and other prominent cancer centres would participate in the programmes, to be held at Thalassery in August, Kasaragod in September, Malappuram in October, Kannur in November and Wayanad in December.

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