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business crisisThe Health Ministry has prepared a detailed project plan that will be reviewed by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) at a high-level meeting to be held on Monday

Moneycontrol News

The government is planning to set up 49 cancer centres across the country in the next three years owing to the rise in cancer cases every year, reported Times of India.

The Health Ministry has prepared a detailed project plan that will be reviewed by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) at a high-level meeting to be held on Monday.

According to the paper, these centers will come up across India in a phased manner under two categories — state cancer institutes and tertiary care cancer centres (TCCCs).

With an estimated cost of around Rs 3,495 crore for the three-year plan, the project will aim at prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The centres will come under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke.

India has over 250 dedicated cancer-care centres, out of which 40 percent are in eight metropolitan cities and fewer than 15 percent are government operated, noted a 2015 study (Call for Action: Expanding cancer care in India) conducted by a consultancy firm, Ernst and Young.

Thus, this move is likely to expand treatment options for cancer patients who have to travel to big cities to seek treatments.

"The idea is to make treatment options available across India so that patients do not necessarily have to travel to Delhi and Mumbai, which often leads to additional costs like accommodation, travelling, etc.," an official told the newspaper.

India records over a million new cases of cancer recorded every year in a population of 1.2 billion. In 2012, over 60,000 deaths in India were caused by cancer.

A report by Indian Council of Medical Research suggests that India is likely to see over 17.3 lakh new cases of cancer and over 8.8 lakh deaths due to the disease by 2020 with cancers of breast, lung and cervix topping the list.

Along with the setting up of new cancer centres and upgrading the existing centres and government medical colleges, the government's initiative is also looking to provide high-end equipment and advanced technology for cancer treatment, the official added.

India has 50 percent of the required 1,200 radiotherapy machines, which are used to destroy cancer cells, as per estimates by the WHO. Thus, within this scheme, the government is planning to add around 175 radiotherapy machines in India by the end of 2020.

The umbrella project also entails the setting up of other facilities for oncology, onco-surgery, chemotherapy and palliative care for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of cancer.

"These institutes will also mentor all cancer-related activities, including research and development, in their respective areas," the official said.

Source: moneycontrol