Maharashtra will be the first state in the country to provide cancer treatment in all government medical colleges in Maharashtra. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the government of Maharashtra, Tata Memorial Center (TMC) and Tata Trust to bring all the government medical colleges in Maharashtra under the National Cancer Grid (NCG). This step has been taken to make cancer treatment available in the public healthcare sector at the root level.
“Tata Memorial Centre will be guiding the government to set up these cancer treatment centres in the state. Government hospitals today do not have the mechanism to treat cancer patients. Cancer treatment needs a proper setup and Departments of Medical Oncology, Surgical Oncology and Radiotherapy are necessary for it,”said Dr Kailash Sharma Director of Academics at Tata Memorial Hospital and advisor and coordinator for cancer care at government medical colleges in Maharashtra.
“Due to the unavailability of the cancer treatment in the public sector patients have to either rely on the private sector or travel to Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai for the treatment. So this initiative will help cancer patients to get treatment in their vicinity. We have already set up a center in Aurangabad. Our next focus will be on Nagpur,” he added
A meeting was held to discuss the course of further action between government officials and the National Cancer Grid. Dr Kailash Sharma, Joint Director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) Dr Prakash Wakode and coordinator for the National Cancer Grid Dr C.S. Pramesh attended the meeting. Many aspects of the project including human resource, technology, and infrastructure set up were also discussed during the meeting.
According to the estimation by the International Agency for Research on Cancer under GLOBOCAN project the burden of cancer in India is likely to almost double by the year 2035. It had estimated that 1 million cancer cases in 2012 are likely to increase to about 1.7 million in 2035.
The National Cancer Grid (NCG) was formed in August 2012, to form a union of cancer centres in the country which could provide uniform and high standards of cancer care and would follow uniform evidence based guidelines for management of patients. One of its aims is to develop human resource adequately trained to fulfill the cancer healthcare needs of the entire nation and conduct collaborative clinical research of a high standard.