In its very first year, the Gauhati Medical College Cancer Hospital catered to over 8,000 patients from Assam and the Northeast.
“Last year, around 1,281 patients underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy was provided to 964 patients. In total, we catered to over 8,000 patients,” director of state cancer institute Dr BC Goswami told Northeast Now.
Speaking about the prevalence of cancer in the region, Superintendent I/C of Gauhati Medical College Cancer Hospital, Prof K Bhuyan said, “Oral cancer is highly prevalent in the region followed by breast cancer. Among children, a blood-related cancer (haemetological cancer) is mostly seen.”
The hospital has a total capacity of 200 beds.
“Currently, 120 beds are fully operational. The rest is in the process,” Bhuyan said. “Moreover, of the 41 doctors, 13 are cancer specialists,” he added.
“People in the Northeast region consume a lot of red meat which triggers cancer. The different food habits like having smoked meat, uncooked food also contribute to it. We have also seen that oral cancer is highly prevalent in Meghalaya owing to the use of better nuts,” Bhuyan noted.
On being asked about organising awareness camps in the last one year, Dr Goswami said, “Last year, we were busy in the recruitment process and haven’t organized any awareness camps. We plan to organize awareness camps in the upcoming year to reach out to people in various places.”
Dr Goswami mentioned that in many cases, patients interrupt or discontinue their treatment. He further added that the treatment at the Cancer Hospital is provided at a subsidized rate.
Under the Atal Amrit Abhiyan, the government provides financial assistance of Rs 2 lakhs per person per year for a number of ailments, including cancer.
“We will provide free healthcare to all AAA cardholders and we are also planning to introduce the cashless system this year,” Dr Goswami said.