The Bombay High Court Nagpur Bench’s stern directive on Wednesday to the Maharashtra Government to set up a State Cancer Institute (SCI) in the city within two years, will act as an important milestone in arresting the disease in central parts of India. Nagpur, reports its highest incidence.
The court directive can be taken as a personal victory for retired Dr. Krishna Kamble on whose petition the newly-constituted division bench, comprising of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Rohit Deo, passed the order and also set a timeline for it.
Dr Kamble, a retired professor from GMC’s Radiotherapy Department after serving cancer patients for over 37 years, had filed the public interest litigation (PIL), through counsel Anil Kilor and Tejas Kene. His plea was that Nagpur having the highest number of patients in Maharashtra was where the State Cancer Institute needed to be set up.
Nagpur is reported to have the highest incidence of cancer when compared to the adjoining Pune, Aurangabad, and Mumbai state the statistics of 2014 published by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence. Attempts have also been made to shift the hospital to Aurangabad of late.
The High Court has directed that permissions by the government be sought in two months, building plans be prepared and security clearances gathered in the next three. The state has also been asked to get the building works over within 18 months and patients coming in within 2 years by the HC.
Dr. Kamble’s petition also spoke of the Government Medical College(GMC) not having been given recognition for the past many years by the Medical Council of India, due to the deficiencies existing
His PIL, pressed for up gradation of equipment and recruitment of resident doctors for the course.On account of his plea, the Council visited the college and agreed to grant temporary recognition along with riders.
The Judges on this point, before disposing off the petition said, the council recognition for the MD Radiotherapy course was to last till the SCI was established and functional in the state.
The petitioner had highlighted that Nagpur had the highest incidence of truncated and cumulative rate and cumulative risk percentage of the deadly disease, in zero and 64 years patients. Stating further, that getting infected with cancer was also the highest in Nagpur, in comparison to other cities.
Nagpur stands second highest in breast and tongue cancer cases in India after Ahmedabad, Dr. Kamble had pointed out.Oral Cancer cases reported in Nagpur are the second highest in number- in the country. Being strategically positioned , patients from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh visit Nagpur for treatment, the petitioner informed.
The Nagpur Cancer Registry cites a data of 9000-10,000 patients arriving in the city every year for treatment, observed Dr Kamble. He said that these patients also needed to stay on for at least six to eight weeks. The number is likely to double by 2020 and treble by 2030.
Dr Kamble argued that the establishment of the cancer institute in Nagpur would in all likelihood act as a boon for central India, and a catalyst for trained human resource in the field of oncology, an absolute essential for the times to come.
He said that despite a proposal having been submitted to the government through the Government Medical College with data and costs involved, nothing had emerged this far. The total costs estimated for the projects are to the tune of Rs. 120 crore and recurring expenditure amounting to Rs 31.41 crorereports TOI.