BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to decentralise cancer care and make it accessible to the patients at an affordable cost, the State Government on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tata Trusts to create a comprehensive cancer care network in the State.As part of the agreement, Tata Trusts will set up and manage a state-of-the-art Cancer Treatment and Research Hospital in the city. The State Government will provide 25 acres of land free of cost for development of the centre. The MoU was signed by Health and Family Welfare Secretary PK Meherda and Managaning Trustee, Tata Trusts, R Venkataramanan in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chairman of Tata Trusts Ratan Tata.
The two partners agreed to create a three-tier cancer care network with the proposed centre in the state capital and Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre, Cuttack as apex centres. The medical colleges in the state and the district hospitals will be equipped to offer diagnostics and standardised day care chemotherapy with selected district hospitals offering radiotherapy services. “The Tata Trusts has made it a major thrust area because we know cancer dose not choose its victim. It does not discriminate between the rich and the poor with the only differentiators being access to treatment,” Tata said.
Noting that the country has nine million cancer patients, Tata said an early detection is one way to mitigate the disease. “We are privileged to partner with the Odisha Government in upgrading cancer care capabilities in the public health network. Patients will no longer need to travel all the way to Mumbai except for rare and complex conditions,” he added.
The CM said the Odisha Government is taking pro-active measures to improve cancer care in the State. “The Tata Trusts has immense expertise in the field of cancer care and research. The new partnership will certainly create the much needed synergy,” Patnaik said. The project estimated to cost `800 crore will be implemented over a period of five years. The State’s share will be `500 crore while the Tata Trusts has committed `300 crore. The State Government will bear the operational expenses of all facilities to be established under the programme and support the poor and needy patients by providing free treatment, sources said.