To make the people aware about non-communicable diseases, especially cancer, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Thursday launched a month-long campaign by flagging off an awareness van.
“This special awareness van has been flagged off under the State Government’s Tandarust Punjab Mission in observance of ‘National Cancer Awareness Day’,” said Sidhu while addressing on the occasion.
Sidhu said: “It is the call of the day to aware the masses about non-communicable diseases especially cancer besides diagnosing these diseases at early stages to provide requisite treatment.”
The Minister further said that to identify the suspected cases of cancer, Punjab Government had initiated the door-to-door screening program for the people above the age of 30 years for cancer, diabetes, and hypertension.
He added that the Government has established NCD Clinics at every District Hospital, Sub-Divisional Hospital, or Community Health Centre.
“From 2017, as many 25,45,770 individuals have been screened for NCDs out of which approximately 12.7 percent were diagnosed with diabetes, 16.4 percent with hypertension and 0.13 percent with cancer. These identified patients have been provided further healthcare services by the health department,” he said.
Apart from strengthening of public hospitals, the State Government would soon empanel more private hospitals to provide secondary and tertiary healthcare services in rural and remote area of Punjab, added Sidhu.
Giving detail about the Government hospitals for Cancer Patients, the Minister said that a 100-bedded Advanced Cancer Diagnostic Treatment and Research Centre is operational in district Bathinda. “Homi Bhabha Cancer care facility in Sangrur had been established in collaboration with TMC, and all Medical Colleges in the State had been provided with State of the Art equipment for the treatment of cancer patients,” he said.
Apart from that, Tertiary cancer care centres (TCCC) in Fazilka and State Cancer Institute are being established in Amritsar and Stroke Ready Units are established in all three Government Medical Colleges Amritsar, Faridkot and Patiala and District Hospital, Bathinda, Fazilka, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Sangrur, he said.
The Minister said that free travel facility in Punjab Roadways and PRTC buses is provided for cancer patients for availing treatment.