A Cancer Care Board would soon be formed in the state to consolidate the effort to treat cancer, said Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja. The decision was made at a high-level meeting held at the Minister's chamber held on Saturday.
Nearly 50,000 people in the state are diagnosed with cancer every year, it is estimated. Doctors and technical experts would be brought together for the board, said a press release.
At present, cancer treatment can be procured at three cancer centres in the state, at medical colleges, hospitals of the health department, and at private hospitals. As part of the Cancer Strategy Action Plan, all these treatment centres will coordinate to work together for the board, Minister Shailaja said.
The board will decide on the policies for cancer treatment, the guidelines for quality treatment, preventive measures, spreading awareness, medicine procurement, buying new equipment, and so on.
It will have a state-level committee and a district-level committee. The health minister will be heading the state-level committee. The other members will include the health department principal secretary, doctors of the Regional Cancer Centres, director of the health department, director of medical education, international cancer experts, among others.
Sub-committees under the state-level committee will include cancer prevention, treatment, medicine procurement, equipment procurement. The district committees will be working in association with them. District medical officers will be supervising the district committees and keeping the state committees informed of district-level updates.
The board will work through the cancer grid that connects all cancer-treatment facilities. Private hospitals and institutions will also have an important role to play.
The meeting held on Saturday was attended by health department principal secretary Rajan K Khobragade, director of the health department RL Saritha, Director of Medical Education (DME) A Ramla Beevi, RCC director Rekha A Nair, Malabar Cancer Centre director B Satheesh, Cochin Cancer Centre director Moni Kuriakose and NCD Nodal Office Bipin Gopal.