PM inaugurates multi-level cancer care network in Assam

Dibrugarh, 29 April, 2022.

The Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, inaugurated seven cancer care facilities in Assam, part of a state-wide, multi-level cancer care network to expand affordable cancer treatment to more towns and cities. The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stones of seven more facilities in the state, which will join the network in the second phase. The Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, the Chief Minister of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, Waterways and AYUSH, Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Information Technology,Mr. Keshab Mahanta, Union Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labour& Employment, Mr.Rameswar Teliand the Chairman of Tata Trusts, Mr. Ratan N. Tata, were with Mr. Modi at the ceremonies.

Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of Tata Trusts, said, “I am happy that the Tata Trusts, along with the State Government’s support, has been able to implement the multi-level cancer care network in Assam. Cancer care in India is challenged by lack of facilities, late diagnosis, and high cost of treatment. The Tata Trusts has resolved to combat this by supporting the creation of capabilities across the country for high quality affordable care, nation-wide screening and early detection programmes. The fruition of this project in Assam will be a guiding light to the entire country.”

The seven hospitals, inaugurated by the Prime Minister, are in Dibrugarh, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Darrang, Jorhat, and Tezpur, and are a part of the first phase roll-out of 10 such facilities. The three other facilities in Guwahati, Silchar, and Diphu are expected to be ready in the coming months. The next set of seven hospitals, for which Mr. Modi laid the foundation stones, are a part of the second phase of the programme and will come up in Sibsagar, Goalpara, Golaghat, Tinsukia, Dhubri, Nagaon, Nalbari districts of Assam.

This would be a unique initiative where state health infrastructure gets ultimately augmented with 10 MRI, 10 CT Scans, 10 Linear accelerators, 4 blood component labs, 10 automated laboratories, and 4 PET scans. This will help even non-cancer patients to access sophisticated diagnostic capabilities at affordable cost.

The multi-level cancer care model, developed by Tata Trusts, is being established and run by the Assam Cancer Care Foundation, a joint initiative of the Assam Government and Tata Trusts.

Cancer care facilities in India are concentrated in big cities. The situation forces patients and their families to travel to these centres, bearing high cost, often unaffordable for many. Tata Trusts’ Distributed Cancer Care Model (DCCM) eliminates these handicaps, and makes world-class treatment accessible, closer to where patients live, and, therefore, affordable.

Under DCCM, the infrastructure hierarchy will have 4 Levels, with each level playing a crucial role. Level 4 includes health and wellness centres for community outreach programmes for awareness, screening, and early detection of cancer; Level 3 centres are hospitals with day-care centres; Level 2 centres are typically at medical colleges, providing comprehensive cancer care and Level 1 facilities are apex centres providing all sophisticated forms of cancer care services, including research.

Tata Trusts, since 2017, has and is developing and augmenting more than 20 hospitals in six states through its Distributed Cancer Care Model. The organisation has been collaborating with various states and like-minded organisations to facilitate the network.

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