AERB approves site for cancer centre at Kupwara
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AERB approves site for cancer centre at Kupwara

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has approved site for tertiary care cancer centre (TCCC) proposed to be set up at Kupwara, and meant to de-centralise cancer diagnosis, treatment and management facilities in the state.

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has approved site for tertiary care cancer centre (TCCC) proposed to be set up at Kupwara, and meant to de-centralise cancer diagnosis, treatment and management facilities in the state.

In reply to a query by Greater Kashmir, AERB has said that the site and layout approval has been issued for telecobalt installation at TCCC Kupwara in January 2018. The TCCC is being planned at district hospital Kupwara and would be the first cancer centre in Kashmir to be set up outside Srinagar.

AERB, in its communication to Greater Kashmir has also said, "There were no applications pending with us (AERB) from government hospitals of Jammu and Kashmir with radiotherapy facilities". 

Anuradha V, scientific officer at AERB on behalf of Directorate of Regulatory Affairs and Communication of the regulatory organisation said that approvals had also been issued for setting up linear accelerator at Government Medical College Srinagar.

Confirming the development, director Health Services Kashmir said, "We have finally succeeded in the most difficult part for setting up cancer at Kupwara. We have satisfied the queries posed by AERB and are ready to start construction," Director DHSK, Dr Saleem ur Rehman said.

Following the AERB approval for TCCC Kupwara, state Health department has initiated the process for seeking financial assistance under the GoI scheme of strengthening cancer care in state. 

In this regard, a letter from directorate of health services Kashmir addressed to health and medical education department dated 2 February, seeks financial assistance under the centrally sponsored scheme National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS).

Director health services said that his department would take TCCC Kupwara up on fast track. "Let us get all the paperwork in place, we will ensure that we are able to provide cancer treatment and facilities for cancer patients in Kupwara. This will spare our people the hassles of travel and queuing up in city based hospitals," he said.

Cancer cases are seeing a surge every year in J&K, while diagnosis and treatment facilities have remained static over the years. In 2017 alone, 4600 new cancer patients were registered at regional cancer center of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), the only comprehensive cancer institute in Kashmir.

GoI had announced three TCCC for J&K in 2013, each with a funding component of Rs 45 crore and meant to strengthen the tertiary care cancer facilities in states, including J&K.

The purpose of TCCCs was to decentralize cancer treatment and provide quality specialty services to people in the peripheral areas without the need to visit centrally located centres and thus reducing the load and enhancing outcomes.

The TCCCs will have well equipped and functional departments of Medicine, Surgery, Gynaecology & Obstetrics, ENT, Pathology and Radiology.

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