In an initiative that seeks to help thousands of cancer patients during the lockdown, the Kerala government has started 21 cancer centres across the 14 districts of the state.
The decision was announced by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recently in a daily press meeting. On Wednesday, Health Minister KK Shailaja stated that the centres have been opened in 21 hospitals in the state. The facilities have been opened in taluk hospitals and general hospitals.
"Cancer patients are persons with less immunity. If COVID-19 affects these people, they will very quickly reach a serious condition. It is because of this that these cancer centres have been started so that patients need not travel far for treatment," the health minister said in an official statement.
The cancer centres have been opened at the Thiruvananthapuram General Hospital, Kollam District Hospital, Punalur Taluk Hospital in Kollam, Kozhencherry District Hospital in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha General Hospital, Mavelikara District Hospital in Alappuzha, Pala General Hospital in Kottayam, Kottayam District Hospital, Idukki District Hospital at Thodupuzha, Ernakulam General Hospital, Muvattupuzha General Hospital in Ernakulam district,Thrissur General Hospital, Palakkad District Hospital, Ottapalam Taluk Hospital in Palakkad, Early Cancer Detection Centre at Kanjikode in Palakkad, Malappuram District Hospital, Nilambur district hospital, Kozhikode Beach Hospital, Nalloornad Tribal Hospital in Wayanad, Kannur District Hospital, Thalassery General Hospital, and Kanhangad District Hospital in Kasaragod.
The centres have been started with the help of the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) in Thiruvananthapuram, and the facilities will be expanded with the cooperation of other regional cancer centres.
The minister also said that patients of RCC – one of the prime cancer treatment hospitals in the state — will be given the opportunity to continue their treatment with specific doctors.
"People from across the state used to come to Thiruvananthapuram RCC for treatment. The further treatment for such patients, like chemotherapy, relief treatment and other aids, will be again given through these centres that are nearby their homes," the minister stated.
The doctors of RCC, through teleconferencing, will connect with the doctors in these new centres and decide the further treatment for regular patients of RCC. The necessary medicines needed for the patients will be distributed from the Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited through Karunya medical stores. Medicines from RCC will also be distributed with the help of fire force officials.
In order to control the rush of patients, they will be informed beforehand about appointments.