The city got 254 new beds dedicated to cancer treatment at Tata Medical Center in Rajarhat in northeast Kolkata on Saturday.
The beds, a percentage of which is reserved for underprivileged patients, are in Tata Medical Center Phase-II. Indian Oil has borne part of the expenses of setting up the second phase of the hospital, which was inaugurated by Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, director (HR), Indian Oil, in the presence of Mammen Chandy, director, Tata Medical Center.
“We had a cancer hospital with 183 beds and now with the addition of 254 new beds in the second phase, we will be able to cater to more than 400 patients at a time. Out of these, a percentage has been earmarked for patients who seek financial assistance,” said Sanjeev Kumar Agarwal, chief financial officer, Tata Medical Center.
Tens of thousands of cancer patients from Bengal go to other states for treatment because Kolkata does not have enough beds and treatment facilities.
The Telegraph has reported a number of times that around 9,000 cancer patients from Bengal visit Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, every year.
Tata Memorial Centre has recently launched a cancer care centre at SSKM Hospital in collaboration with the Bengal government to boost cancer treatment facilities in the state.
Statistics issued by the ICMR-National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research suggest that in 2020 alone, 1.08 lakh new cancer cases were reported in Bengal. The projected incidence of cancer cases in the state for 2025 is 1.21 lakh.
“There has been a consistent increase in the number of cancer cases reported in Bengal every year. The fact that so many cancer treatment units are coming up in the private and government sector is an indication of the increasing demand for treatment in the state,” said surgical oncologist Gautam Mukhopadhyay.
The Telegraph spoke to several private hospitals that have plans to set up specialised cancer units in the city.
Ruby General Hospital, which has a set-up of around 110 beds dedicated to cancer treatment, is likely to add another 40, a hospital official said.
“The focus will be on cancer treatment and bone marrow transplant cases. We are expecting to make the new 40 beds operational by July,” said Subhasish Datta, chief general manager (operations), Ruby General Hospital.
Peerless Hospital has taken a similar initiative and is planning to open a dedicated wing for cancer treatment in Kolkata.
The new unit, whose construction has started and is expected to be ready in a couple of years, will have an OPD and is likely to provide all cancer-related treatments and diagnostic support, said Sudipta Mitra, chief executive of Peerless Hospital.
Peerless now has around 20 beds for cancer treatment in two units. Medica Superspecialty Hospital, too, is likely to open a 250-bed cancer hospital in the next few months, officials of the hospital said.
“At present, we have around 100 beds for cancer treatment. By this June we are going to start the cancer hospital with 250 beds, which will have all infrastructural and medical support related to oncology under one roof,” said Alok Roy, chairman, Medica.
Roy said the new hospital would be able to offer “organ-based treatment” to the patients depending on their specific needs.