On 2 February, South Bengal districts will have its first government-run dedicated tertiary cancer care hospital and the Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to inaugurate the first phase of the facilities in Burdwan town on the day.
On Wednesday, state’s principal secretary (health), Narayan Swarup Nigam, accompanied by senior health official Kaushik Bhattacharya made an inspection of the cancer hospital. Dr Kaustabh Nayek, principal of the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, said, “The chief minister will inaugurate the outdoor section of the dedicated cancer hospital on 2 February and the remaining facilities of the state-of-theart hospital will continue coming up one after another, in phases.” Dr Nayek said: “It’s going to be an eight-story building, beside the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital complex where diagnosis, medical and surgical units and radiology would be brought under the same roof and shall offer highest possible cancer treatment available in the country.”
“The cancer patients will not be referred to Mumbai anymore,” said Dr Tapas Ghosh, medical superintendent, BMCH. The Integrated Finance Division (IFD), under the ministry of health & family welfare accordingly had released Rs 22.4 crore initially for the first phase of the hospital in November, 2017 and for the first phase expenses worth Rs 45 crore was earmarked, which however escalated to nearly Rs 100cr due to delayed project execution during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Centre, in 2013-15 approved a scheme to help enhancing tertiary cancer care facilities across the country in which Centre had declared assisting 20 state cancer institute (SCI) and 50 tertiary cancer care centre (TCCC) and the BMCH, besides two others was accommodated in the proposal forwarded by the state on 16 December 2014.
The hospital authorities have spent Rs 36cr for construction and a fresh fund worth Rs 25cr has also been allocated for equipment. Dr Sanatan Banerjee, head, radiation oncology, BMCH said, “The BMCH attended 9,200 cancer patients in its small unit last year and the figure would cross 10,000 this year.”