Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday released the Platinum Jubilee Milestone book on Tata Memorial Centre here, an official said. Addressing the doctors and students Tata Memorial Centre via video conferencing from his residence, Modi hailed the invaluable contribution of Tata family towards humanitarian services and social responsibilities, particularly in the field of cancer cure, care and research.
“There are very few institutions in the country which are serving the nation for so long. The way this institution has worked for the poor of the country is an inspiration for the other hospitals of the country,” Modi said.
“This institution is also an example of how public and private organisatations can work together for the poor,” he added.
Tata Memorial Centre, a leading tertiary cancer centre in Asia, is celebrating 75 years of its establishment. The research wing of the centre was originally established in 1952 as Cancer Research Institute (CRI).
Tata Memorial Hospital merged with CRI in 1966 and the collective was called Tata Memorial Centre.
Calling cancer a major challenge for humanity, Modi said: “Every year in India, more than 10 lakh people are diagnosed with cancer. Six and half lakh people die from cancer every year.”
To provide good treatment to patients across India, it is necessary to bring all the cancer hospitals on a single platform, he said.
Since 2014, the number of cancer institutes associated with Cancer Grid has increased from 36 to 108, Modi said.
The National Cancer Grid is a network of major cancer centres, research institutes, patient groups and charitable institutions across India.
Taking benefit of the expertise of the Tata Memorial Centre in the field of cancer, Prime Minister Modi said: “The government with their help is going to establish four major cancer institutes across India.”
“These cancer centres will be situated in Varanasi, Chandigarh, Visakhapatnam and Guwahati. This will benefit patients who have to travel far for treatment,” Modi said.
Speaking on his government’s vision on health, Modi said: “The government wishes to take Preventive and Promotive Health Care System to the common man. In the coming years Government plans to spend 2.5 per cent of GDP on health.”
Through the New Health Policy, the government is working on the integration of different medicine systems, he said.
Ratan Tata, in his welcome address, thanked the Prime Minister for his support, cooperation and vision towards affordable healthcare and cancer research.