Sounding confident of a change of regime at the Centre after next Lok Sabha polls, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today said there would be a "friendly government", taking an apparent dig at the UPA rule which she has been accusing of meting out step-motherly treatment to her state.
She made the remarks at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Cancer Institute here while stating that the institute's plea for upgradation to the status of Centre of Excellence was pending with the UPA Government for approval.
"I have written to the Prime Minister of India, regarding the pending request of the Cancer Institute, considering the excellent service rendered for over three decades, even while functioning as an NGO," she said referring to its Chairperson V Shantha's statement that it had applied for upgradation.
"We are awaiting the approval of the present Government of India. If the approval fails to materialise, I solemnly assure Dr Shanta that next year there will be a friendly Government at the Centre that will immediately afford necessary approval for recognition of the Cancer Institute as a Centre of Excellence," she said.
Jayalalithaa has been asking AIADMK cadres to work for the victory of the party in all 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to ensure a greater role for her at the national level.
Hailing the cancer institute as a place of miracles, she said doctors and the staff have to tread softly, for they tread on hopes, fear and anxiety of families.
"They accomplish wonders with their professional skills. Every life saved from the jaws of death, is a living miracle," she said.
"My Government is very conscious of such needs, and endeavours to ensure that state-of-the-art equipment and medical skills are made available to the needy," she said.
Observing that due to the absence of an Indian stem cell bank, patients, if lucky to find a match, have to import the same at a cost of over Rs 25 lakh, Jayalalithaa said, "To ensure access to patients with blood cancer and thalassaemia, my government has sanctioned a first of its kind cord banking system with a grant of Rs nine crore to create a cord bank under public private partnership.
"Under this scheme, 3,000 cord blood donations would be collected and processed and patients referred by Government hospitals, government employees and their dependents, and patients under the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme would be given the units free of charge", she said.
This will greatly benefit blood cancer and thalassaemia patients, she added.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister announced that the Government would give a special grant of Rs five crore for the diamond jubilee building to be constructed by the Cancer Institute.