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Cancer therapy boost

Calcutta, Sept. 10: The government is planning to transfer 18 cancer specialists from Calcutta to head proposed cancer detection centres in the districts.

The health department has received a proposal from the technical support team of the core committee of cancer detection and public health programme, suggesting that these 18 cancer specialists — 14 of them MDs — are “rotting” as medical officers in government health centres or government hospitals in the city.

Concerned over the lack of minimum cancer detection and treatment facilities in the districts, the government has decided to set up 18 cancer detection centres and three district cancer hospitals.

According to the latest National Cancer Control Programme figures, out of 60,000 new cancer patients in the state, only 12-15,000 turn up for treatment. The rest do not have access to even the basic treatment. In 2001, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute saw 6,500 new patients, while Medical College and Hospital saw 2,653, NRS Medical College and Hospital had 1,099 and SSKM Hospital 1,700 new cancer patients.

“The government is studying proposals to send the 18 specialists to the districts,” said Dr Kalyan Bhattacharya, member of the core committee and head of the radiotherapy department at NRS.

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