Cancer: Diagnosis done, Punjab must tackle the cure
Of the 2.65 lakh persons screened in the door-to-door campaign, 23,874 were found to be cancer patients while 84,453 carried symptoms of the disease. This poses a challenge to the Health Department not only in terms of numbers, but also in the sense of urgency that needs to be shown to tackle this crisis.
The patients have been given referral cards and asked to report for free treatment to almost 35 empanelled private and government hospitals, including the three medical colleges in the state. However, the ground reality at government district hospitals, as well as the medical colleges, is that they simply donít have the infrastructure or the manpower to handle the cancer numbers. The state is facing an acute shortage of medical specialists and several efforts of the government to get MD doctors to work for them have shown poor results. With no oncologists in district hospitals, medical colleges canít be expected to handle this kind of a rush of patients.
As for the empanelled private hospitals, these will need much more than referral cards to straight away admit patients and start treatment, to say the least.
The government has obviously not learnt any lessons from its
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