Odisha govt seeks greater private sector role in creating cancer treatment facilities

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov. 8:

The Odisha government on Saturday said it would welcome more facilities for cancer treatment in the state to come up in the private sector even as the administration was trying to improve matters in state-run hospitals.


“Cancer is now a treatable and curable disease and we need more investment for creating facilities for cancer treatment. We will welcome more such facilities to come up in the private sector,” chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati said, while inaugurating the 1st Sum Cancer Conclave at the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital here.

The government was pursuing a two-pronged strategy of training doctors and faculties on the latest technology and creating new facilities while trying to further improve and extend the insurance mechanism, he said.

“People are getting benefit from the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana as also the Biju Krushak Yojana of the state government under which the state foots their treatment bill. Patients are able to avail the benefit under these schemes also in privately-run hospitals,” Pati said adding “this should encourage the private sector to invest more in creating state-of-the-art infrastructure.”

The chief secretary, who earlier went round several major departments of the IMS and Sum Hospital, expressed satisfaction on the facilities available in the hospital saying the IMS and Sum Hospital has become a fine example.

Pointing out that the concentration of medical professionals was more on the diagnosis and treatment of the disease at present, he said equal emphasis should also be given to the preventive aspects.

The cancer conclave, organized by the SOA University under the aegis of the chapter of Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) and Odisha Society of Oncology, is being attended by doctors from different parts of Odisha.

Eminent onco-surgeon Dr Krupasindhu Panda and president of the Odisha Chapter of ASI, Dr Sreejoy Patnaik also spoke on the occasion while Prof DK Ray, vice-chancellor of SOA University presided.

Dr Panda said the facilities available in the state today were awfully inadequate as hardly 500 beds were available for around 70,000 cancer patients.

Nearly 80 per cent of the patients were not covered by the complete cancer therapy which was required, he pointed out.

Referring to the lifestyle of present generation, which greatly contributed to cancer in the young, he said he had recently operated upon a 28-year-old young man suffering from oral cancer caused by consumption of gutkha.

Surgery, he said, continued to be the cheapest and best method to treat cancer.

Dr Sunil Agrawal, surgical oncologist at the IMS and Sum Hospital and organizing secretary of the conclave, said the conference aimed at bridging the gap between latest technologies and the doctors at the peripheral level who needed to be equipped as they were required to treat cancer patients as well.

The conclave is being attended by several eminent cancer experts from outside the state, including Dr RA Kerkar from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Dr Sanjay Sharma from Bombay Hospital, Mumbai, Dr Ravi Kannan and Dr Ritesh Tapkire from Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Silchar, Dr Sumit Goyal from Jaypee Hospital and Dr GV Rao from Asian Institute of Gastroenterology.

Prof Ray said the IMS and Sum Hospital was developing into a full-fledged cancer treatment centre as all the necessary facilities were being created in the hospital.

Stating that cancer treatment continued to be a costly affair, he said that Kerala government had recently decided to provide free treatment to all cancer patients.

Prof Neeta Mohanty, dean of Institute of Dental Sciences, the faculty of dental science of SOA University, proposed the vote of thanks.

The chief secretary was felicitated on the occasion on behalf of the University by the vice chancellor and the managing member Gopabandhu Kar.

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