Assam plea to Tata on hospitals

The Assam government is collaborating with Tata Trusts to set up a unique, first-of-its-kind three-tier cancer care grid in the state that would entail an investment of Rs 1,400 crore.

By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Guwahati
  • Published 13.10.17
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Ratan Tata and Himanta Biswa Sarma in Mumbai on Wednesday

Guwahati, Oct. 12: The Assam government is collaborating with Tata Trusts to set up a unique, first-of-its-kind three-tier cancer care grid in the state that would entail an investment of Rs 1,400 crore.

Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma met Ratan Naval Tata in Mumbai yesterday and members of Tata Trusts to discuss the proposal.

Sarma today tweeted: "Happy to meet legendary R.N. Tata and members of Tata Trusts for what may become a rare philanthropy-government collaboration on cancer."

Nearly 30,000 cancer cases are added every year in Assam.

Under the grid system, L1 or a state-level cancer-care institute in Guwahati will have advance and tertiary care facilities and cater to the needs of cancer patients in the entire Northeast. In the second stage, L2 or state medical college will have chemotherapy, radiation and surgical oncology facilities. L3 or district hospitals will have daycare, chemotherapy and radiation facilities.

Sarma said the unique cancer care grid is likely to have an investment of Rs 1,400 crore and is proposed to be shared by Tata Trusts and the state government. It will also leverage the existing schemes.

He said a positive announcement is expected from Tata Trusts shortly on this collaboration. "Wait for a few more days as things are moving positively," Sarma said.

A nationwide cancer-tracking programme, conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research last year, found that Assam's Kamrup (Metro) district has recorded the fourth highest incidence of cancer in the country in men and the third highest in women.

Cancer of hypopharynx, mouth and tongue among women in the districts are the first, third and fourth highest in the country, while cancer of hypopharynx in men is the second highest in the country.

The district records the highest instance of gall bladder cancer in India and the third highest instance of cancer of oesophagus among women Cancer of the prostate is the second highest and ovarian cancer third highest in the country.