PUNE: District hospitals from Pune and nine other districts will soon get a free chemotherapy facility. This decision was made by Health Minister Deepak Sawant on the occasion of World Health Day celebrated worldwide on Saturday (April 7). Chemotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of cancer.
According to the State government, the first phase of this scheme will be launched in June and this facility will be made available at district hospitals of Nagpur, Gadchiroli, Pune, Amravati, Jalgaon, Nashik, Wardha, Satara, Bhandara and Akola. Physicians and nurses of these hospitals will be imparted training at Tata Hospital in Mumbai from next month.
According to National Cancer Patient Registration Programme, around 11 lakh cancer patients are found per year in the country. The total number of cancer patients including the new and old comes to 28 lakh.
Out of these, five lakh patients die per year due to cancer. The State government has taken steps to reduce the incidence of cancer in Maharashtra. Along with the treatment, awareness campaign and preventive measures are also undertaken. Last year in December, oral health and hygiene campaign was implemented. Considering the increase in cancer patients, the health department and Tata Hospital undertake treatment measures.
For the free chemotherapy treatment, as per the needs of the patients, a six-week course is administered to the patient in Tata Hospital. For this, the patient has to come to Mumbai every week. They have to bear the travelling, lodging and boarding expenses.
With the intent to relieve the family of these expenses, Health Minister Deepak Sawant decided on Friday to provide chemotherapy treatment facility at the district hospitals free of cost. This will help cancer patients to avail the treatment at their places.
“In the first phase, ten districts of the State have been included in this scheme. A physician and a nurse in each of these ten hospitals will be trained for three weeks by Medical Oncology Department of the Tata Hospital. The first batch of trainees will start from May and district hospitals have been directed to inform the names of the physicians and nurses,” said Sawant.
Tata Hospital from Mumbai will be giving a six-week chemotherapy course to patients. First week’s course is given at the Tata Hospital. With the facility available at the district hospitals, the patients need not have to come to Mumbai all the way.
The list of medicines required to start chemotherapy unit in district hospital has been obtained from Tata Hospital. These units will start from June in these ten district hospitals. Rest of the district hospitals will be covered in the next phase, the Health Minister said.