KOCHI: The Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC) will become a 24-hour facility this December. The hospital is gearing up with a 20-bed in-patient facility which has been a dream of the people who have worked hard for the hospital to become a reality. More patients in Central Kerala will be able to rely on the facility.
A new haematology-oncology and pain and palliative care along with community medicine department will also be added to the hospital by the end of this year.
The number of patients approaching the hospital has also gone up in the past year. On November 17, the district cancer control programme initiated by CCRC will be inaugurated. A symposium on integrating the primary and tertiary cancer care sectors will also be held. The hospital is celebrating its second anniversary on Thursday. It was on November 1, 2016, CCRC started functioning.
By the end of December, 74 new staff will join in 34 categories and recruitment is going on from the 1800 applicants. The appointments will be on a contract basis. The mammogram installation is also expected to be completed by December and a new radiographer will also join. Ultrasound facilities for breast cancer detection will also be available in the hospital by then.
“Development programmes of CCRC during the past three years have established a firm foundation for the institute. CCRCs goal is to implement the government of Kerala’s vision of taking cancer care to the people. In this respect, CCRC has initiated the district cancer control programme, with the training of primary care physicians. We will consider CCRC a success not just by offering excellence in cancer care in the centre, but improving overall cancer care outcome of the community it serves,” said Dr Moni Abraham Kuriakose.
The fact it took two years for the hospital to reach there is relevant as the authorities had been severely criticised for the delay in setting up necessary services. Even the construction of the new building saw so many difficulties, including labour issues, which even reached the court. However, the construction works are now back on track.
The alleged move from the part of CCRC to make tie-ups with private hospitals in the city had raised many eyebrows. However, the director quashed this. “There is absolutely no plan for any sort of link up with the private hospitals. As of now, we have limited services and some hospitals are voluntarily offering their services where we refer a few patients to them because we are unequipped to deal with them in the present situation,” he said.
However, the delay from the part of authorities in handing over the operation theatre in Ernakulam Medical college (EMC) as per the MoU signed by EMC and CCRC and the slow pace of the development in CCRC are a cause of worry for people who worked for it. “The focus should be on developing CCRC into a world-class cancer care facility and the attempts to sidetrack the project have been happening since the beginning stages. However, this is the need of the time and we will wait patiently with a keen eye as the hospital is a priority for us,” said Dr N K Sanilkumar, Krishna Iyer Movement.