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Government plans more cancer centres, three in MP Dr Harsh Vardhan opens linear accelerator at Indore Cancer Foundation

The government has planned 20 new advanced cancer treatment facilities across the country (one in each state) over the next few years to meet the rising burden of the disease. For Madhya Pradesh, the Centre has planned a new State Cancer Institute (SCI), along with two Tertiary Care Cancer Centres (TCCC).

Announcing this at a press conference at Indore today, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, said that annually 11 lakh new cases of cancer are detected in India. Of the 2.9 million cancer patients at present in the country, about 6.06 percent are in Madhya Pradesh.

The three facilities planned for MP are: Vidisha district hospital, GR Medical College, Gwalior, and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College, Jabalpur. The first two are to be TCCCs while the one at Jabalpur would be a SCI.

Each 50-bedded TCCC will be part of an existing government hospital with well equipped and functional departments of Medicine, Surgery, Gynaecology, ENT, Pathology and Radiology. The Union Health Ministry will provide one-time support of up to Rs 45 crore to each TCCC, including up to 30 percent for construction and renovation,

The Health Minister said that the government will also set up 20 SCIs across the country in the short term future, one of which will come up in Jabalpur. The total cost of each will be Rs 120 crore, of which the Centre will contribute 75 percent. In all, 50 such institutes are planned in the country over the long term.

“Each SCI will be the apex institution in the state for cancer related activities. It will provide outreach services, diagnosis and referral treatment, develop treatment protocols and increase the human resource availability”, Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

In the morning, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a brand new, indigenously developed Linear Accelerator at the Indian Institute of Head and Neck Oncology, a project of the Indore Cancer Foundation Charitable Trust.

Named the “Siddharth-3 Linear Accelerator”, it has been gifted by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology. “This is in tune with our determination to deal with the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases,” the Minister said. He said that the government is planning a massive, nation-wide cancer screening programme on the occasion of National Cancer Awareness Day which falls on November 7 annually.

“Our government has already launched a massive consciousness drive against tobacco which is a known carcinogen. There are many others left to be identified and for this intensive research is necessary”, the Minister said.

The inauguration programme was attended by the Lok Sabha Speaker, Smt Sumitra Mahajan, the Health Minister of MP, Dr Narottam Mishra, the MP of Indore, Ms Savitri Thakur, the Collector of Indore, Shri Aakash Tripathi, and others.

Dr Harsh Vardhan praised the work of Dr Digpal Dharkar, the Honorary Secretary of the Indore Cancer Foundation. “He has organised more than 200 free camps for cancer detection in and around Indore and performed over 2,500 operations. Dr Dharkar stands out as an exception to the trend of doctors leaving villages for the glamour of big city hospitals,” he said.