The demand for a cancer hospital in Bargarh is gaining momentum with members of Paschimanchala Akata Manch, a social organization, urging chief minister Naveen Patnaik to take immediate steps in this direction to save poor people from the killer disease. A group of people representing various districts of the region submitted a memorandum addressed to the chief minister in this regard to the revenue divisional commissioner. They have urged Naveen to suggest the Union health ministry to depute an expert team to study the situation and the causes of the disease at the ground level. The manch has suggested that the chief minister should at least start by opening an unit of the Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Center in Bargarh for the treatment of poor patients.
“In almost every village, the number of cancer patients is on the rise. The way the disease is spreading is alarming. Soon, the district will be known as the cancer capital of the country,” the manch said in its memorandum. Manch convenor Bhawani Sankar Bhoi said in the memorandum that a delegation met Union health minister JP Nadda during his visit to Balangir on August 31 and apprised him of the situation. They requested him to take steps to set up a hospital in Bargarh. They also requested the Nadda to depute a team of experts to study the situation to study the causes of the high cancer rate.
Bhoi said Nadda had assured them of looking into the matter, but the ministry had not received any proposal from the state government. He would take immediate action if the state provides any proposal in this connection, said Nadda. Bhoi said the Center had sanctioned ₹500 crore to the Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Center in Cuttack according to a request from the state. Cancer survivors of Bargarh district have also formed an organization – Fighter Group – to create awareness among people on the prevention and aftercare. Various speakers expressed concerns over the disturbing trend of the spread of the disease. They said poor people were not able to go to Mumbai and other cancer hospitals or meet the cost of treatment. – Telegraph India