New Delhi, Oct 3: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon the private sector to come forward and partner with the State governments to provide modern cancer treatment facilities in the rural areas.
The Vice President, who embarked on an eight-day tour of the North-Eastern States, arrived in Guwahati this morning. He was received by the Governor, Chief Minister and other dignitaries.
Inaugurating a PET-MRI wing at the State Cancer Institute, he said that it would not only greatly help in more accurate diagnosis, but will also reduce patients’ exposure to radiation. It is only the 4th such machine in India and the first in the country, which is based on Time-of-Flight technology.
Referring to the step-down cancer care model called the Distributed Cancer Care Model, which the Assam government proposes to implement in partnership with Tata Trusts, he advised other States to emulate it for providing timely and effective treatment to cancer patients.
Under the Distributed Cancer Care Model, it is planned to have one Apex Referral Centre called L1, Comprehensive Cancer Hospitals attached to Government Medical Colleges called L2s and Diagnostic and Day Care Centres with Radiation adjacent to District hospitals called L3s.
Referring to the aim to create patient-centric cancer institutions to deliver standardized and affordable care closer to the patients’ homes, instead of a single apex hospital handling a cancer patient’s treatment, Naidu noted that they would provide high-quality cancer care closer to home and reduce out-of-pocket expenses for cancer patients.
The Vice President said palliative care was a crucial area that required greater attention of the governments and health professionals. “Palliative care is basically supportive care and seeks to improve the quality of life of patients”, he added.
Naidu also urged all the state governments to include lessons on the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles in the school curricula to make children aware of the need to prevent non-communicable diseases. He called for a national campaign to bring awareness among people about ‘lifestyle diseases’.