Odisha plans to make cancer care available in district hospitals

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In another step towards quality healthcare, Odisha government has envisioned an ambitious proposal to make cancer care and follow-up services available in district hospitals. This has been discussed in a high level meeting presided by the Chief Secretary Gokul Chandra Pati in the state secretariat conference Saturday, June 20, 2015.

While Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare, Arati Ahuja, outlined the issues for discussion, noted medical oncologist Dr Dinesh Pendhakar and Dr C.S. Tripathy made presentation on various technical and clinical aspects of the proposal.

The presentation, while highlighting the possibilities with decentralization of cancer care can be decentralized, insisted that district hospitals can administer chemo if appropriate training is provided and arrangements made. The doctors can also manage the post operation care and follow-up actions for which the patients are required to run to specialized hospitals located in far off urban centers.

“The programme can be implemented through a partnership among the local district hospitals and tertiary cancer care hospitals and can be carried to people through community leaders and health workers,” said the release from the office of the CS.

Appreciating the presentation, Chief Secretary Pati expressed his interest and urged that such facilities be made available at district hospitals, which would save the patients from various types of exploitations. The CS directed Health & Family Welfare department to work out a detail project report within shortest possible time. Seeking reputed institutes like AIIMS, Bhubaneswar and Achrya Harihar Cancer Care Center, Cuttack, to take the lead in this matter, he also directed to constitute an expert committee to examine and carry forward the proposal.

Chief Secretary also advised to adopt a multi sectoral collaborative approach among Government Centers of excellence for cancer treatment, pharmaceutical companies producing life-saving medicines for cancer, medical officers and doctors placed at district hospitals and people’s representatives including the volunteers and health workers.

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