The new cancer block of the Ernakulam General Hospital, set up at a cost of ₹25 crore, will be inaugurated on October 2.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the new block located along Market Road near the General Hospital. Spread over 44,000 sq.ft, the building has ground plus five floors. The cancer block was funded by Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) under the Smart Cities Mission project.
Maintaining that the new block will be beneficial to patients in Ernakulam and nearby districts, said Dr. Shahir Shah, Superintendent, General Hospital, adding that the block would have 105 beds. “It will have two intensive care units dedicated to cancer care. There will be separate wards for male and female patients. The new block will also have facilities for counselling,” he said.
Recalling that the cancer unit at the General Hospital was set up in the 1960s, Dr Shah said it was among the pioneering institutions for cancer care in the State. Nearly 300 patients from Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta continue to avail facilities at the cancer unit. There are around 60 beds in the existing unit at the hospital, besides facilities for screening, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery,” he said.
With the commissioning of the new block, the cancer unit at the General Hospital will be shifted. The space will be then used for setting up general and other medical wards. The authorities are hopeful that the increase in demand for inpatient care will be met to a certain extent, with the opening of the new cancer block.
However, the new block lacks an operation theatre. Surgeries will have to be done at the General Hospital or the facility at the super-specialty block. The authorities attributed the shortcomings in the design approved for the new building as the reason for the new facility not having an operation theatre.
The need to appoint new staff in various departments will be a challenge in ensuring the smooth functioning of the new block. The plan is to start the outpatient wing utilising the services of four oncologists and six junior doctors. New appointments of nursing, para-medical, support and security staff will have to be initiated. As the government will not sanction posts, the hospital development society will have to find its own funds to meet salary and other expenses. The society has kick-started the process of making necessary appointments as per norms. The Hindu