Assam announces setting up of 19 cancer care units; Ratan Tata to lay foundation stone on June 18

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Assam government on Saturday had announced that 19 cancer care centres would be set up across the state in partnership with Tata Trusts at an investment of Rs 1,910 crore which will start functioning from mid 2020.

The government is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the proposed centres on June 18 in presence of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP President Amit Shah and Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata.

“We have reached the stage now to lay the foundation stone and conduct ‘Bhumi Pujan’, which will be done on Monday. After that, all the hospitals will be operational tentatively within next two years,” Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said at a press conference in Guwahati.

The government and Tata Trusts have formed a non-profitable entity known as Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF), with equal partnership to implement the project and manage the centres, he added.

“Tata Trusts will give Rs 830 crore initially, while the Assam government will put in Rs 1,080 crore. So, the initial corpus of Rs 1,910 crore will go to ACCF, which will be a six-member trust,” said Sarma.

Assam had signed a MoU with Tata Trusts during the ‘Advantage Assam – Global Investment Summit 2018’ in February to operate 17 cancer care centres across 15 districts.

Sarma informed that the number of the centres has been revised to 19 now.

According to the plan, the district hospitals at Darrang, Goalpara, Golaghat, Haflong and Sivasagar will have diagnosis and day-care centres without having surgery facilities, termed as L3.

Existing and proposed medical colleges at Barpeta, Jorhat, Silchar, Tezpur, Diphu, Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Tinsukia, Karimganj and Nalbari will have facilities for radiation, chemotherapy and surgery with 150 bedded hospitals, termed as L2.

Assam Medical College and Hospital will be the referral centre and will have a separate 200-250 hospital, termed as L1.

Apart from these centres, the Assam government is constructing a 500-bedded cancer hospital under the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, informed the Health minister.

“For developing the Guwahati hospital as apex centre for cancer treatment, we will invest Rs 200 crore, of which Rs 180 crore will be given by the Centre,” he added.

Sarma stated that this hospital will be known as South East Asian Cancer Research Centre and it will carry out research on the disease in North East as well as neighbouring countries.

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