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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Assam bid to build cancer-care network, Guwahati's State Cancer Institute adds 200 beds

The increase in bed capacity will come as a huge relief to the poor and the middle class as most of the cancer patients from the state and the Northeast still go to the big cities to avail treatment, spending a lot of money and time

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 04.03.24, 07:40 AM
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma inaugurates the PET-CT facility at the Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute in Guwahati on Saturday

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma inaugurates the PET-CT facility at the Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute in Guwahati on Saturday Sourced by the Telegraph

The State Cancer Institute (SCI) in Guwahati — a joint venture between the Assam government and the Tata Trusts — has increased its bed capacity from 150 to 350.

The increase in bed capacity will come as a huge relief to the poor and the middle class as most of the cancer patients from the state and the Northeast still go to the big cities to avail treatment, spending a lot of money and time.

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The new block of the SCI will have 200 beds and together with the old block, the total number of beds now stands at 350, a government statement said on Saturday.

Assam records around 50,000 cancer cases a year.

The patients admitted to the SCI will be provided services like radiation, chemotherapy, surgery/robotic surgery, nuclear medicine, and bone marrow transplants.

The SCI is equipped with facilities such as MRI, CT, mammography, digital X-ray, endoscopy, laboratory, blood bank and CSSD (Central Sterile Supply Department), the government statement said.

The total cost of the project is Rs 395 crore. The first phase of the SCI was commissioned six years ago.

Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that with an investment of over Rs 3,600 crore, the state government is "building a world-class cancer care network in Assam".

Sarma said that the state government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tata Trusts on February 3, 2018.

To implement the project, a Special Purpose Vehicle — Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF) was formed.

Taking the initiative forward, the government set up an apex referral centre at the State Cancer Institute, Guwahati (L1), five comprehensive cancer care centres (L2s) at Dibrugarh, Barpeta, Silchar, Diphu and Dhubri besides 11 diagnostic and day-care clinics (L3s) at Lakhimpur, Tezpur, Jorhat, Kokrajhar, Darrang, Tinsukia, Golaghat, Nalbari, Nagaon, Sibsagar and Goalpara.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the seven cancer care hospitals at Dibrugarh, Barpeta, Lakhimpur, Tezpur, Jorhat, Darrang and Kokrajhar on April 28, 2022.

Two State Cancer Institutes in Guwahati and Silchar have already been dedicated to the service of the people and the remaining seven are planned to be completed by 2025 and 2026, Sarma said.

In another programme on Saturday, Sarma dedicated a PET-CT machine at B Baruah Cancer Centre, Guwahati, with a project cost of Rs 13.14 crore.

The PET-CT scan facility is an advanced imaging modality used for diagnosis, staging and evaluation of response to treatment of many types of cancers.

Sarma said the government in assistance with the Central government is working to make Dr B Baruah Cancer Institute “a centre of excellence where patients are able to get cutting edge treatment facilities without having to go outside the state”.

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