GUWAHATI, June 16 - A corpus of Rs 1,910 crore has been created under the newly-floated Assam Cancer Care Foundation to set up three different layers of hospitals for cancer patients in 19 districts of the State.
As part of the opening funding, the Tata Trusts will contribute Rs 830 crore, while the State government will provide a grant of Rs 1,080 crore, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told media-persons here today.
Sarma informed that apart from the corpus of Rs 1,910 crore, an additional amount of Rs 200 crore would be spent on these 19 hospitals, of which Rs 180 crore would come from the Centre.
As per the Indian Council for Medical Research, 31,825 new cancer cases are reported in the State every year and that 70 per cent of these patients face mortality due to lack of treatment or late diagnosis.
The foundation stone laying ceremony would take place in 15 places, including Guwahati, on June 18 that will be attended by Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata, BJP national president Amit Shah and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. The estimated time-frame for the completion of the work is two years even as land allotment at four places � Darrang, Goalpara, Sivasagar and Haflong � is awaited.
�All the 19 cancer care hospitals would have three categories, viz level 1, level 2 and level 3. While the level 3 category would largely be a day-care affair with all kinds of diagnostic facilities, the level 2 hospitals would have facilities for surgery,� the Health Minister said, elaborating on the categorization of the hospitals.
The Assam Medical College and Hospital at Dibrugarh would be treated as a level 1 hospital, which would largely be a referral hospital with 200 additional beds.
The level 3 hospitals would be set up at Darrang, Goalpara, Golaghat, Haflong and Sivasagar. Further, the 150-bed level 2 hospitals would come up in Silchar, Barpeta, Jorhat, Tezpur, Diphu, Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Tinsukia, Karimganj and Nalbari.
The places identified for level 2 are those where multi-specialty support from the medical colleges is available or at least proposals for setting up medical colleges are already in place.
The minister also informed that as part of the massive exercise, a Southeast Asian Cancer Research Centre would come up in Guwahati where extensive research and development works related to cancer care would be carried out.
The 19 cancer care hospitals, the minister said, would be linked with all the cancer-care programmes of the State and the Central governments.
Replying to a question, Sarma said that the foundation would look to rope in doctors, nurses and other specialists from outside the State and the country, if need be.
�As these hospitals would function like a private entity, roping in quality manpower by offering them higher incentives should not be a problem,� the minister said, adding that states like Bihar and Odisha are also following the same pattern.