The state government and Tata Trusts decided to set up a ₹200 crore Greenfield Tata Memorial Hospital in the capital city under the Odisha Comprehensive Cancer Care Program. Besides, cancer care facilities will be upgraded at Acharya Harihara Regional Cancer Center (AHRCC) and in the 13 district headquarters hospitals. An estimated ₹800 crore will be spent on the two projects in 5 years. The move is important with 49, 674 people suffering from cancer in Odisha and 25,035 dying of the disease in 2016, according to the National Center for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR). Also, 69 people die of cancer in the state every day. Though no comprehensive study has been conducted in the state, most patients suffer from oral cancer followed by cervical and breast cancers.
A three-tier step-down model has been proposed by the Tata Trusts for implementation of the program. It will focus on prevention and early detection of cancer and making cancer care accessible by reducing the travel time to a maximum 2.5 to 3 hours. It is meant to improve survival rates of cancer patients, chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi told the media after the first advisory committee meeting. The committee also decided to put in place a three-tier clinical care model along with a fourth tier of intensive screening, awareness and palliative care at the community level. Around 15 clinical units with treatment facilities will be set up in different parts of the state. In tier-I, facilities will be upgraded at AHRCC and the Greenfield hospital will be set up. Treatment units will be set up. Treatment units will be set up in the four state- run medical colleges at Burla, Balangir, Berhampur, Koraput, and the Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar in tier-II.
At tier-III, units will be set up at government hospitals in Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Baripada, Balasore, Balangir, Bargarh, Nabarangpur and Angul. These hospitals will have facilities like diagnosis, advance imaging, endoscopy, clinical pathology, cyto, histo-pathology, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, brachytherapy, general surgery, onco-surgery, critical care, telemedicine and clinical research. The infrastructure development work should be completed and services would start within two years, Padhi said. One of the main reasons behind cancer is the tobacco-chewing habit while in districts like Bargarh use of pesticide has triggered the occurrence of the dreaded disease. “There is a need for a comprehensive study,” said Ghanashyam Biswas, a Bhubaneswar-based medical oncologist. – TOI