Health Ministry set to build two care centres

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

May 6, 2016-

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is planning to establish two specialty cancer care centres in the eastern and mid-western regions in a bid to provide better care to patients suffering from the killer disease.

The ministry has proposed establishing a cancer centre at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan and building a cancer hospital in Nepalgunj under the public and community partnership.

Around Rs30 million has already been released to the Nepaljung-based centre where works are on to build infrastructure, according to ministry spokesperson Mahendra Shrestha. “We will propose establishing these specialty care centres in the upcoming budget,” he said.

The National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) data shows there were 7,212 cancer patients at seven major hospitals in the country in 2012, up from 3,251 in 2000. The actual number of people suffering from cancer in the country may be much higher because of the paucity of exact national data and poor reporting mechanism in hospitals, say health experts.

Globocan, a project under the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, has identified gynaecological, lung, head and neck (lip and oral cavity, nasopharynx, other pharynx, larynx and thyroid), and various hematological malignancies as the five most common cancers in Nepal.

Health officials estimate around 25,000 people die of cancer each year.

The growing incidents of cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has been a real concern for the ministry, Shrestha said. The ministry has been providing Rs100,000 as financial support for patients suffering from cancer and other diseases, including heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, spinal injury and head injury. People can avail these services on the recommendation from a committee chaired by chief district officer.

“This time our budget will focus more on the quality treatment and upgrading hospital systems besides giving continuity to other public health programmes such as immunisation,” Shrestha said. The ministry has also proposed setting up trauma centres along major highways to ensure immediate care to the patients. It plans to equip the existing hospitals and provide trained human resources for the purpose, explained Shrestha. 

“The centres will have round-the-clock facility with orthopaedic doctors. This way we can avert thousands of deaths resulting from road accidents,” he said. 

According to the Department of Roads (DoR), 1,816 people died in road accidents in fiscal year 2012/13 and nearly 4,000 others were seriously injured. Bus accidents in the highway account for 13 percent of the total fatalities.

Published: 06-05-2016 07:45

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