JAMMU: Yet another glaring example of discrimination and step motherly treatment with Jammu region has come to light-this time with regard to setting up of State Cancer Institute (SCI).
While the Jammu and Kashmir government has set a deadline to start Rs 120 crore State Cancer Institute in Srinagar in April 2019, the Health and Medical Education Department has just begun the process of seeking release of funds from the Centre for setting up of similar facility in Jammu.
STATE TIMES is in possession of a letter of dated November 28, 2018 in which Madan Lal, Joint Director (Planning) Health and Medical Education Department has written to Rajeev Kumar, Director (NCD-II SECTION) Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI, New Delhi to release first installment of requisite funds for establishment of State Cancer Institute at Govt Medical College, Jammu at the earliest in the interest of patient care.
According to official sources, in the absence of submission of utilisation certificate amounting to Rs 2 crore released on account of upgradation of existing cancer unit in GMC, Jammu in 2005-2006 the Union government was not releasing funds for the establishment of SCI, Jammu.
Faculty members in the Radio Therapy Department of GMC, Jammu claimed, “It took almost 13 years for the concerned authorities to furnish utilisation certificate”. “It’s a criminal act. How can we treat cancer patients with defunct and obsolete equipment made available to them”.
The faculty members claimed even if the funds are released at the earliest, creation of SCI, Jammu will take long time and till then patients will continue to suffer in the absence of better treatment facilities”. They also appealed to the Governor’s administration to expedite procurement and installation of latest machines to treat poor cancer patients.
Sources said that some senior doctors who are in private practice and also serving at GMC Jammu wanted delay in the creation of SCI in Jammu. As this would damage their practice so they deliberately keep on delaying this project.
According to official sources, Principal, GMC , Jammu, Dr Sunanda Raina had convened a meeting on October 16, 2018 to review the status of DPR, amounting to Rs 56. 65 crore, and manpower requirement for the State Cancer Institute at Super Specialty Hospital, Jammu.
In 2014-15, the then Union Government had announced establishment of two Cancer Institutes in Jammu and Kashmir-one in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura in Srinagar and another in Government Medical College Jammu at a cost of Rs 120 crore each.
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