The state government of Maharashtra has announced that cancer patients would be provided with free chemotherapy treatment at district hospitals. The first phase of the plan would start in June 2018.
The plan will start with hospitals in Nagpur, Gadchiroli, Pune, Amravati, Jalgaon, Nashik, Wardha, Satara, Bhandara and Akola districts.
The move aims to ease the travelling and lodging problems of cancer patients who come to Mumbai's Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel, which is one of the country's premier cancer treatment facilities, for six-week chemotherapy course as a part of their treatment.
• Under the new plan, a physician and nurse from each of the selected district hospitals would be given training for three weeks starting from May by the Medical Oncology department of Tata Memorial Hospital.
• The initiative is expected to help the patients save their lodging and travelling expenses.
• The list of medicines required to start chemotherapy units at the selected hospitals has already been obtained from the Tata Memorial.
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According to the National Cancer Registry Programme, around 11 lakh people are diagnosed with cancer every year across the country. Among them, five lakh people die annually.
Currently, the total number of cancer patients in the country stands at around 28 lakh.