Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami inaugurated Tamil Nadu’s first Positron Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography (PET-CT) scan to be used at a government hospital, at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai, here on Wednesday via video-conferencing.
Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar, who attended the inauguration ceremony in Madurai and spoke to the press, said that the deivce would help in identifying cancer cells and the spread of cancer, heart disease and various brain disorders.
A release from the hospital said that solid tumours appear on PET-CT scans including those of the brain, cervix, colo-rectal, oesophageal, head, neck, lung, lymphoma, melanoma, pancreatic, prostate and thyroid. The PET-CT can also help identify areas of decreased blood flow in the heart. The information helps to decide whether procedures such as an angioplasty or bypass surgery need to take place. The risk of radiation is also minimal with this device, the release said.
The Health Minister said the equipment, costing ₹10 crore, would also be available to patients from other hospitals. “At least ₹25,000 is spent on each scan at private hospitals. We offer it for free under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance scheme,” he said. He added that since Madurai is considered a centre for all of southern Tamil Nadu, the device would be of great use.
Speaking about the condition of the hospital, Minister said construction of new buildings are being undertaken with the help of a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for a total of ₹230 crore. The work is at the tender stage, he said.
“We are also planning to introduce Medical linear accelerator (LINCA) to GRH soon. It will also be available in Salem, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Tirunelveli in the coming months. LINCA can be expected in Chennai in the weeks to follow,” he said. He added that a clinic set up for transgenders will be inaugurated at GRH, soon as work is nearing completion.
Member of Parliament Su. Venkatesan who on Monday said that the PET scan facility was wasteful infrastructure at the GRH without being put to use, said that he was glad the instrument would finally serve the public. Speaking at the inauguration, he added that basic hygiene and sanitation at the hospital needs to be improved.
It may be recalled that GRH officials had initially informed the Madurai bench of the Madras high court that PET-CT scan would start functioning on April 20 after a Public Interest Litigation was filed in December 2016. The scan centre, which was set up about eight months ago, had not been inaugurated as the CM had not set a date.-The Hindu