Dispur, Oct 3: Hon'ble Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday inaugurated North East India's first-of-its-kind PET-MRI Wing at State Cancer Institute, Guwahati Medical College & Hospital in presence of Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.
After the inauguration of the PET-MRI Wing at the State Cancer Institute, a function was held at GMCH Auditorium. Saying that the Assam Government has always strived for bringing advanced healthcare technologies to people of the State, Chief Minister Dr. Sarma informed that this PET-MRI Wing will greatly augment cancer treatment in the region. Set up with a total project cost of Rs 62 crores, this is India's 4th such PET- MRI machine installed at a Govt sector hospital equipped with 'Time of Flight' tech. This machine is faster than PET-CT and essential for advanced cancer research activities, he said.
Informing about Assam Cancer Care Foundation set up in partnership with Tata Trusts, the Chief Minister said that the State Government is implementing a Distributed Cancer Care Model in the State through the foundation for providing timely and effective treatment to cancer patients. Under this model, there is one Apex Referral Centre which is State Cancer Institute at Guwahati called Level 1, Comprehensive Cancer Hospitals attached to Government Medical Colleges called Level 2s and Diagnostic and Day Care Centres with Radiation adjacent to District hospitals called Level 3s.
Under the Distributed Cancer Care Model, 18 cancer hospitals are being set up across the State to create patient-centric cancer institutions to deliver standardised and affordable cancer care closer to the patients' homes as they would not need to travel outside the State for treatment and reduce out-of-pocket expenses for cancer patients.
"As Assam reports nearly 52,000 new cancer cases every year, the State Government signed an MoU in 2018 with Tata Trusts for setting up cancer hospitals where equipment is provided by Tata Trusts and civil construction is done by the State Government. Despite Covid pandemic we are not much behind schedule and construction of these hospitals is going to be completed by March 2022. Moreover, the State Cancer Institute has some of the most advanced equipment for cancer care such as Tomo-Therapy, Linear Accelerator, MRI Guided Linear Accelerator etc" the Chief Minister informed.
The Chief Minister also informed that free cancer treatment is being provided to poor and underprivileged sections in the State taking advantage of Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat and Atal Amrit Abhiyan schemes which cover almost 92 percent of such patients. He also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of setting up a medical college in each district of the country and informed that the Assam Government is building medical colleges in 23 districts of the State. He also said that Assam has been playing a proactive role in helping out other NE states during Covid crisis by supplying Oxygen and the State provided Remdesivir injections to needy patients from Assam all over the country. He informed about financial assistance schemes launched by the State Government for children who became orphans due to Covid, widows and families who lost members due to the pandemic.
Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta, Chief Secretary Jishnu Baruah and other dignitaries were also present at the programme.