KOCHI: The Centre will consider setting up a national cancer institute in the State, said Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda.
The Minister made the announcement during an interaction with former Collector K R Viswambharan and Anil Thayyil of the Justice V R Krishna Iyer Movement in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The purpose of the meeting, which was held in the presence of K V Thomas MP, was to seek Central assistance for the cancer Institute in Kochi and to request to allot the national cancer institute proposed for South India in Kerala. The team also submitted a memorandum to the Minister for the same.
“Cancer cases are increasing at an alarming rate in the State. Around 50,000 new patients are registered here every year, whereas the figure at the national level is eight-nine lakh. Last year, around two lakh patients sought treatment at the Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, the only complete cancer care centre in the State,” stated the memorandum. It also pointed out that there was laxity on the part of the State Government in taking steps to start construction of the proposed cancer centre in Kochi.“The Minister expressed concern over the increase in cancer cases in the State. He said the Centre would consider setting up the national cancer institute in the State, and that further discussion on the matter would be held with the Chief Minister. He also accepted our invitation to take part in the National Cancer Seminar being organised by the Krishna Iyer Movement in Kochi,” said a press statement issued by office-bearers of the Movement.
The Central Government has decided to start two national cancer institutes in the country, one in South India and the other in North India. In the North, the institute is being set up at Gajjar in Haryana.
“Kerala has not done anything that would make the Central Government consider setting up the cancer centre in the State, whereas the other states have been pushing for the same,” said a statement issued by Sanil Kumar.