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  Rajasthan government working on developing population-based cancer registry

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JAIPUR: Rajasthan government is dedicated towards ‘healthcare. This was stated by Shubhra Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Medical & Health and Family Welfare Department, Govt of Rajasthan. She said that Rajasthan government was dedicated towards ‘swasthya’ with 7.4 per cent of public fund spend on healthcare. While applauding FICCI for taking up the important topic of cancer, she shared that Rajasthan has been committed to early detection of cancer along with timely cure. “Under the Mukhyamantri Aayushman Aarogya (MAA) Yojna, there are various packages which offer relief including cashless transactions to the people covered under the scheme,” she added.

Addressing the ‘FICCI Roundtable for Rajasthan’, held under the aegis of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, GoI, on the ‘Road Map for Making Cancer Care Affordable and Accessible in India’, Ms Singh said that the state government is working on developing population-based cancer registry. “115 hospitals are already registered in the state for cancer registry. The State Cancer Institute Jaipur is the apex cancer institute in the state, and we also have Territory cancer care center at Bikaner and Jhalwar,” she noted.

Ms Singh also stated that at the state level, the government’s focus is on 3 main cancers – oral, cervical and breast, screened more than one crore people this year and the state has already deployed 8 vans in 7 zones for providing various cancer tests. “We are also working on adding 25 more vans which will help in early detection of cancers through PPP mode and CSR model,” she added.

Ms Singh noted that the level of health insurance in the state has reached around 94 per cent and it has been one of the major steps for the government of Rajasthan through effective implementation of Mukhyamantri Ayushman Arogya Yojana and PMJAY. She highlighted that the state government has assured the people of free OPD services including all drugs and diagnostics. “This has gone a long way in alleviating the misery on account of huge expenditures on health,” emphasized Ms Singh.

Speaking on the health infrastructure in the state, Ms Singh stated that the state government has now a medical college in every district of the state along with regular training of doctors and paramedics. “The state government is also working on building a medi-city for Rajasthan. The state should not be just self-sufficient in healthcare workers but also become an exporter of manpower,” she added.

Mr Raj Gore, Co-lead, FICCI Task Force on Cancer Care and CEO, Healthcare Global Enterprises Limited (HCG) expressed that today, we are confronted with a significant challenge of increasing burden of cancer in our country. According to the FICCI report, cancer cases are expected to increase to 250 to 280 per lakh population by 2030. The data reveals a concerning rise in cancer cases across India, with projections indicating a significant surge in the coming years. It is imperative that we come together to address this pressing issue and work towards making cancer care more accessible and affordable for all.

Ms Malti Sachdev, Senior Managing Director, Varian highlighted that Rajasthan has 8 Cobalt Bunkers, but more modular and advanced bunkers can be built going further. She also suggested that although Rajasthan has had many successful PPP and CSR initiatives, it is time to review and redesign the PPP models. She also requested the government to consider making radiotherapy a mandatory program in medical colleges to ensure more doctors and workforce for cancer treatment.

Ms Srimayee Chakraborty, Partner, Healthcare Services, EY Parthenon India said, “Improving cancer care infrastructure in Western India and particularly in Rajasthan is fundamental. We need to ensure that both urban and rural areas have the necessary facilities and equipment to provide high-quality cancer treatment. Additionally, private-public partnerships can bring in much-needed investment and innovation, helping to create a more efficient and accessible healthcare system. With concerted effort and strategic planning, we can pave the way for a future where comprehensive cancer care is accessible to all.”

Other key stakeholders – Mr Vineet Gupta, Co-Lead, FICCI Task Force on Cancer Care & Head- Government Affairs, Siemens Healthineers; Dr Shalini Singh, Director, ICMR, National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Rehabilitation; Dr Jatin Thakkar, State NCD officer, W.H.O; Dr Ravi Gaur, Founder- DRG Path Labs and Partner & Director, UniDRG Specialty Labs; Dr Hemant Malhotra, Professor & Head, Department of Medical Oncology, Sriram Cancer Centre, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Hospital Jaipur, also shared their perspectives and suggestions.

FICCI has been cognizant of the healthcare crisis and formed a multistakeholder Task Force in 2022 to deliberate on the future strategies on tackling the cancer burden. The Task Force in collaboration with EY released a report titled ‘Call for Action: Making quality cancer care more accessible and affordable in India’, which was submitted to all concerned healthcare departments.

FICCI is now organising Regional Roundtables on Cancer Care under the aegis of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, for further awareness as well as garnering suggestions from stakeholders across the country. Three roundtables were held in Gandhinagar, Bengaluru, and Bhuvaneswar.

The FICCI Jaipur Roundtable was attended by more than 70 stakeholders from various parts of Rajasthan and neighbouring states, including government officials, senior clinicians and representatives of hospitals, medtech and pharma companies. It was supported by HCG Cancer Hospitals and Varian, with EY as the Knowledge Partner.

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