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GUWAHATI: Assam government today said over 90,000 cancer patients were detected in the state during the last five years in the state.
Replying to an issue raised by Congress MLA Ajanta Neog, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in B Barooah Cancer Institute alone 86,405 cancer patients were registered during the last five years.
"So we can safely say that 90,000 new cancer patients were detected in Assam in last five years. If we assume that some people were treated and some died due to the disease, we can safely say that around 60,000 cancer patients are still there," he said.
Assam currently has three linear accelerator (LINAC) and two Cobalt therapy machines for treating the deadly disease, Sarma added.
"This is very less compared to the huge number of patients. So we have decided to have another cancer hospital under the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital," he said.
The government started setting up a 200-bed super speciality cancer hospital in 2009 and it will be inaugurated on October 2 this year, he said.
The new cancer hospital will function as an autonomous body.
"For the first time in the North East, Assam will have the latest PET-CT (Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography) scan machine worth around Rs 35 crore for detecting cancer at an initial stage from August 12," Sarma said.
Besides, the medical colleges at Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tezpur, Silchar and Barpeta will have dedicated 100-bedded cancer wing with LINAC machine from January 2017, he added.
The minister said two doctors will be trained and appointed in every civil hospital across the state to detect cancer symptoms and give basic treatments from next year.
"We will also run an OPD cancer unit in every hospital," he added.
Besides, PPP-run Narayana Superspeciality Hospital in Guwahati will have a 20-bed cancer unit very soon, he said and announced observing November as Cancer Awareness Month every year.
In a written reply to a query by AGP MLA Utpal Dutta, Sarma said four new medical colleges at Diphu, North Lakhimpur, Dhubri and Nagaon are at different stages of completion.
Assam currently has six medical colleges at Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Silchar, Jorhat, Barpeta and Tezpur.