Kochi’s dream of having a state-of-the art cancer research and treatment centre is not likely to be fulfilled soon as no funds have been allocated for the project in the state budget.
Since the government had already announced the project, the expectation for budget allocations were high but the Minister only mentioned it, dampening the hopes of those who campaigned for the facility.
The volunteers of Justice Krishna Iyer movement which started the campaign for Cancer Research Centre pointed out that it was the lapse on the part of the Department of Health that hampered the proposal from going ahead. The budget was a disappointment. The campaign which we started gained state-wide support and Minister K M Mani had assured us that the project would be included in the budget. What we understand is that he was not able to earmark funds without a project report. If the Department of Health had taken the initiative to conduct the study, the project could have been included in the budget. With no funds earmarked, implementation of the project is likely to be delayed at least by a year,” said Dr N K Sanil Kumar, a urologist and volunteer of the movement.
“The Finance Minister, could have at least earmarked an amount to prepare a detailed project report with an agency of proven track record,” he said.
In this budget funds have been allotted for early detection of cancer. “ But the question is where will those diagnosed with cancer go for treatment.” he asked.
In last year’s budget, `5 crore each was allotted for each district to set up mini cancer centres, but they are still on paper.