ROURKELA: Free chemotherapy treatment and quarterly expert consultations at the Sundargarh District Headquarters Hospital (SDHH) and Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) have come as a relief for poor cancer patients of Sundargarh district. Senior Oncologist of the Asian Institute of Oncology (Mumbai) Dinesh Pendharkar and Odisha State Nodal Officer for Non-Communicable Diseases PKB Patnaik on Saturday visited the RGH and then SDHH for expert consultations.
RGH Chief Medical Officer (CMO) RC Behera said both existing and suspected cancer patients turned up for consultation and six new suspected cases were referred for confirmation. He said the RGH has been equipped to extend chemotherapy treatment to existing patients and offer preliminary consultation to others. Cancer treatment programme was introduced at RGH in May. So far, 22 existing patients have been enrolled and about four patients received chemotherapy doses. Chemotherapy treatment and primary consultation facilities were introduced at the SDHH in February 2016.
Sundargarh Additional District Medical Officer-Public Health (ADMO-PH), SP Padhi informed that so far about 240 cycles of cost-effective and rational chemotherapy treatment have been given to 40 cancer patients at the SDHH. He said majority of the patients hail from poor and rural background and their families are incapable of supporting costly treatment procedures. He added that despite cost cut by the Government of India, prices of different types of chemotherapy drugs in the open market continue to be at a whopping high.