A tertiary cancer center at the Goa Medical College (GMC) and Hospital, Bambolim, will begin to take shape in August, when Dr Anupama Borkar, who was earlier this month appointed consultant oncologist, takes charge. As a stopgap arrangement, the hospital recently started a cancer out-patient department (OPD) with the help of KLE Hospital, Belagavi. The cancer OPD, which functions twice a week on Wednesday and Friday, used to receive two or three cases a day, but now, it sees 12 to 13 cases on a daily basis. An official said that once Borkar joins, the department would begin chemotherapy treatment. A circular to that effect will be issued once she joins the hospital, he said. Currently, when cancer cases are reported, the OPD has to seek external help as the tertiary hospital doesn’t have an oncologist. There is, however, a full-fledged radiology department.
The most common cancers in Goa are breast, colon and stomach. These cases are often referred to hospitals outside Goa. Health minister Vishwajit Rane recently stated that there is a need to empanel two more cancer hospitals as Tata Memorial Center, Mumbai, is overloaded. Authorities feel that the problem will end once the cancer center is set up at GMC. The state government has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the central government to set up regional center at GMC. The ₹100 crore project was approved a year ago, but the GMC administration didn’t pursue the project, leading to a delay, an official said. Rane has declared his intention of completing the project within 12 months once the bidding process is completed. The center would bear 60 percent of the total project cost, while the state would contribute the rest. – TOI