The Telangana government and Tata Trusts on Thursday signed an MoU to deliver high quality affordable cancer care and develop academic and research capabilities in the state.
As part of the three-tier model, two apex super specialty hospitals in Hyderabad -- the MNJ Institute of Technology and the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences -- will be upgraded to handle complex cases on a referral basis.
Medical colleges in Adilabad, Nizamabad, Mahbubnagar and Warangal will be strengthened so that they can offer diagnosis and treatment of cancer cases.
District hospitals in Karimnagar, Khammam and Nalgonda will be developed to offer diagnostic and standardised day care chemotherapy.
"Thereby, a state-wide cancer care network will get created to take treatment closest to patients, through beefing up the existing public health system and infrastructure," said a statement from Tata Trusts.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Telangana's Health, Medical & Family Welfare Department Principal Secretary Santhi Kumari and Tata Trusts Managing Trustee R. Venkataramanan in the presence of Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao, Health Minister C. Laxma Reddy, and Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan N. Tata.
The network will ensure that no patient will have to travel more than a few hours for accessing the full suite of cancer treatment services.
The model is centred on the use of technology and task shifting to facilitate operations in remote areas, and patient-centric design principles to provide a good in-hospital experience to the patient and care-giver.
The hospitals will also mount an extensive awareness, screening and early detection programme.
"We are privileged to partner with the Telangana government in upgrading cancer care capabilities in the public health network. Patients will no longer need to travel all the way to Hyderabad except for rare and complex conditions," said Ratan Tata.
The initiative in Telangana is the latest of Tata Trusts' efforts to partner with state governments and other entities to decentralise cancer care in India. Similar initiatives are in different stages of implementation in Assam, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.