The cancer care centre at SSKM Hospital, a joint project by Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, and the Bengal government, will start functioning on February 4, the World Cancer Day, officials said on Monday.
Alumni of the Mumbai hospital who are practising in Bengal will be involved in patient care at the SSKM centre.
Tata Memorial Centre will also train doctors and nurses of the Kolkata unit at the Mumbai facility, Bengal government officials said after a meeting between the state health department and the cancer hospital.
“It has been decided that the outpatient department at the SSKM cancer centre will start functioning on February 4. The details of when and how inpatient services will start are being worked out,” said Rajendra Badwe, director of Tata Memorial Centre.
“TMC alumni who are now practicing in Bengal will be contributing to patient care. Also, we will be providing training to the healthcare personnel in Mumbai,” Badwe said.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had in July announced the setting up of two cancer care projects in association with Tata Memorial Centre — one at the Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research-SSKM Hospital and the other at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.
At SSKM, a building is being constructed opposite the hospital campus to house the cancer care centre.
A state health department official said on Monday a meeting was held in Kolkata where a number of Tata Memorial Centre alumni doctors were present, apart from senior officials of the department.
“It was an effective discussion and we have decided to set up a committee to finalise details of the functioning of the cancer care centre and identify doctors who will be treating there,” said the health department official.
Badwe, who attended the meeting virtually from Mumbai, said around 9,000 cancer patients from Bengal visit Tata Memorial Centre every year.
“We want the people of Bengal to get treated in Bengal. TMC, Mumbai, will try to ensure they have a state-of-the art facility there,” said Badwe.
He said patients who would be undergoing treatment at the Bengal centres would also be allowed access to Tata Memorial’s Navya app for second opinion.
Patients can get online second opinions from doctors of Tata Memorial Centre as well as experts in the hospitals in National Cancer Grid, including AIIMS.
“Patients will upload data and get feedback in 24 hours about whether the treatment offered is the same prescribed in the protocol,” said Badwe.
The Telegraph has reported that Bengal would have more than 13,000 new cancer cases every year by 2025, compared to that of 2020, according to data published by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
While 1,08,394 new cancer cases were diagnosed in Bengal in 2020, the figure is likely to go up to 1,21,639 in 2025.