Centre to boost Bengal’s cancer therapy initiatives

Kolkata, Jan 6 (IANS) Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Monday announced a slew of new projects and expansion plans of existing institutes to augment West Bengal’s capacity to fight cancer-related diseases.

Azad, along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, inaugurated the Rs.22 crore dual-energy linear accelerator at the centrally-funded Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) for advanced therapy.
“Three major things we are gifting the people. One, the expansion of CNCI; second, the campus (at Rajarhat in the north-eastern fringes of the city), the satellite centre of the institute at Hooghly district; in addition to this, three cancer tertiary centres in different parts of the state will be set up,” Azad told reporters here.
Moreover, in a major fillip, three existing state-run medical colleges will be overhauled at an estimated cost of Rs. 450 crore.
“Four new medical colleges will be set up…cabinet has approved… we have to just identify the place,” he said.
The dual-energy linear accelerator, according to CNCI director Jaydip Biswas, is the first of its kind in a government-run institute in Bengal.
“Private hospitals have this but their packages run up to Rs.1 lakh, which the poor can’t afford. We will offer the treatment free to those who can’t afford it and at Rs.15,000 to those who can afford it,” Biswas told IANS.