BHUBANESWAR:The State Government has decided to start cancer screening programme in five districts and two urban areas from January besides extending free chemo-therapy treatment to seven more districts along with the existing seven.
A senior health official said the nodal officer of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and director of National Health Mission (NHM) have been directed to identify priority districts to be covered under the screening programme in the first phase.
‘’A protocol for identification of cases and their referral would be developed and communicated to all dental surgeons for better screening of oral cancer. The programme would be tied up with health insurance schemes like Odisha State Treatment Fund (OSTF),’’ he said.
The districts which have been shortlisted to be included in the free cancer care treatment programme are Kalahandi, Nuapada, Balangir, Rayagada, Jharsuguda, Puri and Sundargarh. The facility will be provided at the district headquarters hospital except Sundargarh where Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) has been chosen for the purpose.
Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC) at Cuttack will be developed as State Cancer Institute (SCI) with tertiary care facility at par with national standard and will be the nodal centre for cancer care.
In the first phase, hospital-based palliative care will be implemented in seven districts and Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar where free chemo-therapy programme has already been implemented while home-based palliative care will be implemented in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar for BPL category patients.
State nodal officer of NCD Dr PKB Patnaik said first level of training has been completed in AHRCC and the selected doctors will be sent to Karunashraya, Bengaluru in batches for 10 days in January for hands-on-training and certification.
‘’Thereafter, the staff will be eligible to prescribe oral morphine and narcotics, essential drugs for cancer patients at the last stage. We are planning to supply morphine to the trained staff from February,’’ he informed.
On completion of training of staff, the district centres will be declared as registered medical institutions to store and dispense morphine and narcotics. The technical protocol with counselling component for home-based palliative care will be developed to ensure uniformity in service.
Meanwhile, the Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET) has been asked to submit proposal for establishment of radiotherapy unit in five new medical college and hospitals besides the recommendation for filling up of vacant post of medical physicist in VIMSAR and MKCG Medical College and Hospital.