GUWAHATI, March 18 - Capacity building for cancer treatment has been given high priority by Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) after it has been taken over by the Government of India as a grant-in-aid institute of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
Dr AC Kataki, the Director of the institute, told The Assam Tribune that specialised training is required for doctors, nurses and technicians for cancer treatment, and though a number of hospitals are now being set up in the Northeast, shortage of trained manpower can turn out to be a major problem.
He said that BBCI has been conducting various courses for some time as it is not an institute that only provides medical treatment. He said that after the takeover, more stress would be laid on capacity building.
The institute conducts various academic courses for doctors and paramedical staffs, including MD in Radiotherapy, MSc in Radiological Physics, MCh in Surgical Oncology, and DM in Medical Oncology.
In addition, a two-year Post Graduate Fellowship programme for doctors in five disciplines of Oncology is conducted by the institute in collaboration with Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), Mumbai. A large number of doctors from the Northeast is pursuing these courses. Many paramedical courses are also conducted.
The institute in the academic year 2018 will start MSc in Cancer Biology in collaboration with Gauhati University and Diploma in Oncology Nursing in association with the Asian Institute of Nursing Education. To provide accommodation to students, DAE has also constructed a Post Graduate Hostel.
At present, high dose radioisotope therapy facility is not available in the Northeast and there is only one bed for the same in Kolkata. The DAE and TMC have decided to establish one three-bed high dose radioisotope therapy ward at the BBCI, which is expected to be completed within 3-4 months.
Meanwhile, the TMC has called for tender for upgrading the hospital buildings, including the operation theatre and the Intensive Care Unit at an approximate project outlay of Rs 39 crore.
It is expected that within 2-3 years, there will be significant impact in terms of cancer care in the region.
Many patients come to the institute from across the Northeast, but the BBCI earlier had just one 100-bed guest house for patients and attendants. It has now set up a second guest house with 29 cabins at a cost of Rs 4 crore. The DAE has funded the construction, and the guest house will be operational soon.
In addition, the DAE and TMC have approved almost Rs 4 crore for implementation of Hospital Information Management Software for faster and efficient patient services.