Government has crucial role in providing cancer care: US oncologist
By Express News Service | Published: 20th May 2017 02:27 AM |
KOCHI: Despite India being the largest bulk producer of cancer drugs in the world, Indians hardly derived the ensuing benefit, according to Dr Sarah Easow, a medical oncologist from Lakewood, New Jersey, US.
“The cost of cancer treatment in India is quite high because the drugs manufactured in India are exported to foreign countries and they are later imported back into India at high prices. The currency exchange rate escalates the price and common people cannot afford treatment. Government intervention is absolutely necessary to curb this,” she told reporters and members of the public at an interactive session here on Friday.
According to Sarah, the government must focus on providing cancer treatment as the number of patients is on the rise. “There should be more cancer hospitals in the government sector. Since not everyone in Kerala has insurance cover, government intervention is absolutely necessary,” she said.
Besides, Sarah highlighted the importance of counsellors in oncology treatment. "There should be sufficient number of counsellors in hospitals. With the number of patients increasing there should be sufficient number of counsellors to brief patients on the nature of the treatment they have to undergo. Creating awareness on the mode of treatment is as important as generating awareness about the disease,” she said.
"Early diagnosis and proper treatment strategies can only be achieved by increasing cancer awareness among the public,” she said. Sarah voiced concern over the use of certain herbal remedies in cancer treatment. “They may have medicinal effect, but it has to be scientifically proved before being administered,” she said.
Earlier in the morning, Sara visited the OP wing of the Cochin Cancer Centre where she spoke to senior doctors, nursing staff and medical superintendent P G Balagopal.
Kerala State Human Rights Commission former chairman J B Koshy, former District Collector K R Viswambharan, Justice P K Shamsuddin, Ernakulam Karayogam president P Ramachandran, Dr P G Balagopal and Dr N K Sanil Kumar took part in the interactive session held in the evening.