MUMBAI: Various forms of cancer claimed 5,727 lives in Maharashtra out of the total 11,306 new cases that were registered in 2019, the state Legislature was told on Tuesday.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope gave the information in reply to a a question by Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, Pravin Darekar, Niranjan Davkhare and others on the issue.
The opposition members also expressed concern that 9 percent of all cancer cases in the country were reported from Maharashtra and demanded to know what kind of treatment facilities are available for the patients in the state.
Tope informed the upper house that 11 out of 36 districts in the state have required facilities to provide chemotherapy treatment to cancer patients, and through the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana, cancer treatment facilities are made available through registered private hospitals also.
"The staff and doctors at the 11 district hospitals are imparted a month-long training in chemotherapy treatment at the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, Mumbai. Within a year, the staff and physicians in all the 36 districts will be trained in chemotherapy. After the skilled staff is available, the chemotherapy will be gradually extended to other district hospitals in the state," he said.
According to a report cited by Darekar and others, there is only one specialist doctor available for every 3,000 patients which the minister admitted is a very adverse ratio.