Govt. to set up state cancer institutes each costing Rs. 100 cr: Anupriya Patel, MoS, Health & Family Welfare

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New Delhi: Government has recently approved a scheme for enhancing the Tertiary Care Cancer facilities in the country under NPCDCS to grant financial assistance to 20 State Cancer Institute’s and 50 Tertiary Cancer Care Centres in different parts of the country, Ms Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.

The prevalence of hypothyroidism in India is 11%, compared to only 2% in the United Kingdom and 4.6% in the United States of America. Compared with coastal cities like Mumbai, Goa and Chennai, cities located inland like Kolkata, Delhi, Ahmadabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad have a higher prevalence,” said Ms Anupriya Patel, while inaugurating a national conference on ‘Women’s Health Confluence on Prevention and Cure of Cancers & Thyroid Disorders,’ organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) coinciding with the “World Thyroid Day” (May 25).

“Today’s India is a young India, where people are willing to work hard with an assurance of being masters of their own destiny. I would like to mention here that India is a signatory to the 2030 agenda for ‘Sustainable Development’ and is committed to achieve the SDGs including SDG-3 to ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’. The new ‘National Health Policy, 2017’ which got approval by the union cabinet recently, envisages to attain the highest possible level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies, and universal access to good quality health care services without anyone having to face financial hardship. This would be achieved through increasing access, improving quality and lowering the cost of healthcare delivery’.

The policy, while supporting the need for moving in the direction of a right based approach to healthcare is conscious of the fact that threshold levels of finances and infrastructure is a precondition for an enabling environment, to ensure that the poorest of the poor stand to gain the maximum and are not embroiled in legalities. The policy therefore advocates a progressively incremental assurance based approach, with assured funding to create an enabling environment for realizing health care as a right in the future,” said Ms Anupriya Patel.

She further said that currently, women in India, like in other South East Asian countries, face numerous health issues, which ultimately affect their aggregate economic output. We all know that women are pivotal contributors to society in their roles as mothers, sisters, family members, and as socially responsible citizens. Addressing the gender, class or ethnic disparities that exist in healthcare and improving the health outcome, can contribute to women empowerment and socio-economic gain.

“Between 30–50% of cancers can currently be prevented. This can be accomplished by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies. Many cancers have a high chance of cure if diagnosed early and treated adequately. So, the key to survival is prevention, early detection, and proper cure which are possible only with proper awareness among people. Not only the Government, but also private players and NGOs have a great role in creating awareness on the preventive care and symptoms of these diseases. Cancer burden can thus be reduced through early detection and management,” added the minister.
“Determining the goals of treatment and palliative care is an important first step, and health services should be integrated and people-centred. The primary goal is generally to cure cancer or to considerably prolong life. Improving the patient’s quality of life is also an important goal. This can be achieved by supportive or palliative care and psycho-social support,” further said Ms Patel.

Awareness for prevention of cancer and early detection of cancer is being carried out at all levels through NCD clinics at Districts & CHC levels. However higher level facilities for Surgery, chemotherapy & supportive care are available only at District Hospitals. I am told that 388 district NCD clinics and 2115 CHC NCD clinics are functional in the country as on March 2017, said Ms. Patel.

In India, million people suffer from thyroid diseases. There is a high burden of thyroid disorders in India due to endemic iodine deficiency and scarcity of proper therapeutic resources. Thyroid disorders are more common in women than men with the prevalence of 664% and 33.6% respectively, reveals the ASSOCHAM-Turacoz joint paper coinciding with the “World Thyroid Day” (May 25) noted.

Thyroid disorder is another area affecting women’s health. Common manifestations of thyroid disease in women reportedly include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancers. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are about 10 times more prevalent in women than in men. Unfortunately, awareness about the disease and its diagnosis remain shockingly low and there is a pressing need to reach out and make women aware of the causes, symptoms, treatment and importance of screening for thyroid problems.