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Utilise tertiary health facilities under other ministries, PSUs to refine government cancer programs

The central government has proposed that tertiary health facilities under various ministries and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) can be utilised for restructuring of the National Cancer Control Program and boosting National Health Mission (NHM).

“Tertiary health facilities of Ministries such as Labour, Railways, Steel, ONGC, Atomic Energy etc., can be pooled to make a significantly large and sustainable network of healthcare for an exponential impact of healthcare delivery,” Rajesh Bhushan, union health secretary, union health ministry, said on Tuesday.

Bhushan during an event said that NHM has recently undergone a paradigm shift and now not only primary and secondary healthcare services, but referrals with linkages to tertiary health services are being provided through a comprehensive end-to-end delivery solution.

The government has noted that capacity building of healthcare providers is required through regular training, retraining and skill enhancement for cancer care. “Capacity building also to be ensured with clear communication with all stakeholders and feedback procedures put in place. We need to adapt and promote health technology and prevention and treatment of cancer such as telemedicine for improved access to care,” said Bhushan.

“Various “Hub and Spoke” models implemented in some states such as Assam, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh,Bihar can be emulated by other states, along with detailed mapping of the facilities with the granular planning of healthcare delivery,” he said.

The union health ministry convened a workshop on cancer care in India. Key officials discussed infrastructure and human resources for Cancer Care in India, affordability of Cancer Care in India, best Practices with respect to cancer care by States. They also reviewed the ongoing projects and its related issues.

The major objective of the government program is primary prevention of cancers by health education especially regarding hazards of tobacco consumption and necessity of genital hygiene for prevention of cervical cancer. The program further aims at secondary prevention i.e. early detection and diagnosis of cancers, for example, cancer of cervix, breast and of the oro-pharyngeal cancer by screening methods and patients’ education on self examination methods. 3. Strengthening of existing cancer treatment facilities, which are woefully inadequate. Further it aims at improving palliative care in terminal stage of the cancer.

According to the union health ministry data, cancer is an important public health problem with 8 to 9 lakh cases occurring every year. At any point of time, it is estimated that there are nearly 25 lakh cases in the country. Every year about 4 lakh deaths occur due to cancer. 40 per cent of the cancers in the country are related to tobacco use, the government data showed. Business Today

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