‘Cancer cases have increased in 7 years’

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The government on Saturday told the Assembly there has been an increase in cancer cases in Kashmir during the past seven years.
Health minister Bali Baghat while replying to a calling attention notice by National Conference MLA Ali Muhammad Sagar said cancer cases rose from 3075 in 2011 to 4976 in 2016. 
“However the total number of cases in 2017 was 3521,” he said.
The Minister expressed concern over the rising trend in the incidence of Cancer in the state especially in Kashmir valley and revealed that 26214 cases have been reported since 2011.
 “Such patients are given free investigation and anti-cancer drugs are provided to them at subsidised rates,” he said.
“The present system in place is so long. The formalities start from the concerned doctor and ends in civil secretariat. Till the time file gets approved, the patients are almost dead,” minister said, and informed the House that the government was considering keeping a corpus fund available for treatment of cancer patients at the government medical college Srinagar as well as Jammu.
“We are working on it and matter has been discussed with CM as well. We are working on all the requirements to address the issue,” he said.
Ali Muhammad Sagar also demanded that the funds should be also kept available in SKIMS Srinagar as well.
“Most of the cancer patients visit SKIMS, funds should be kept available there as well,” Sagar told minister.
Sagar also asked the government to set up a strong mechanism at district level for disbursement of funds for treatment of patients.
He said the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) at SKIMS Soura has been given the status of State Cancer Institute (SCI) for which state-of-the art equipment has been purchased and Oncology Specialties are being upgraded. He said recently the PET-CT Scan, which can detect cancer cells metastasis, was installed at SKIMS and so far 20 procedures have been conducted. 
He informed that installation of Linear Accelerator at estimated cost of Rs 15.50 crore including civil works is under progress in the Radiation Oncology Department of SMHS Hospital Srinagar which shall be made functional by June this year.
In Jammu, he said, the process for establishing a Cancer Institute and Nuclear Medicine Department in the GMC Jammu has been also initiated.
The Minister further informed the house that Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sanctioned 2 Cancer Institutes at the cost of Rs 120 crore each in the year 2014-15 at SKIMS Soura and Government Medical College Jammu. “Besides this 3 Tertiary Cancer Care Centres (TCCC) at a cost of Rs 45 crore each for Udhampur, Kishtwar and Kupwara has also been approved by Government of India,” he added.
Minister expressed concern over the rising trend in the incidence of Cancer in the state especially in Kashmir valley and revealed that 26214 cases have been reported since 2011.
While giving details about the measures being taken by the government to tackle the situation, the Minister said Radiotherapy treatment is given free of cost as per Government Policy while Poor patients falling under Rs 20,000 and less per month income group are given financial assistance under Cancer Treatment Management Fund.
 

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