8338 cancer patients registered from 2010-17: AL Hek

SHILLONG, Apr 15: From the year 2010 to 2017, a total number of 8338 cancer patients were registered in the Cancer Department of Shillong Civil Hospital, the Meghalaya Assembly was informed on Monday.

Out of these 8338 patients 5291 were males and 3047 were females.

While up to March this year 192 cancer patients have been registered.

Replying to a motion on treatment of cancer patients in the Shillong Civil Hospital brought by East Shillong legislator, Ampareen Lyngdoh, state Health Minister Alexander L Hek informed the House that all types of supportive care for cancer patients are being managed at the hospital.

“Drugs for supportive care are provided free of cost by the government and palliative care drugs such as morphine are available at NEIGRIHMS and the same is provided to the cancer patients as per the request and advice of the treating doctors of Shillong Civil Hospital,” Hek told the House.

The Health Minister also told the House that according to the population based cancer Registry, North east has the highest number of cancer cases and Meghalaya ranks fourth after Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

“Due to the rapid growth of cancer patients in the state the existing Civil Hospital could no longer accommodate more patients and at times have become congested,” Hek said.

He informed that patients needing only day care services insist that they be accommodated in the hospital as they have no other shelter in the city.

“This has given rise to patients being accommodated in the corridors, ramps and even in any free spaces in the hospital,” the Health Minister informed.
With the increase of patients in mind the state government signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Atomic Energy to set up a cancer wing at the Shillong Civil Hospital.

The construction of the building was sanctioned in 2008 at a cost of Rs 26, 16, 29, 780 and is near completion. The state Health Minister hoped that this cancer wing having the state-of-the-art-equipments will be commissioned soon for the benefit of the patients.

“The government is also seized of all the deficiencies in the hospital and would always make all out effort to take remedial steps to improve the services being provided,” Hek assured the House.

The Health Minister also informed that the number of patients treated with Radiation Therapy from 2012 till March 2018 are 3041 with 2002 males and 1039 females.

Hek also informed the House that besides radiation therapy patients are also provided with chemotherapy as per indication.

He however, told the House that all patients have to purchase chemotherapy drugs from their own expenses and those covered under Megha Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) payment is as per the rules.

The Health Minister told the Meghalaya Assembly that under MHIS-I the total number of patients who have benefitted after being treated at Shillong Civil Hospital are 993 and the amount expended is Rs 50, 96, 875.
Hek also informed that under MHIS-II the total number of cancer patients who have benefitted is 523 and the amount expended is Rs 52, 64, 685.

“Under MHIS-III, the total number of patients who have benefitted till date is 298 and the total amount expended so far is Rs 16, 86, 978,” Hek told the House.

According to the state Health Minister through various awareness camps organized and conducted by various agencies like the State Cancer Society, people have been made more aware of cancer and are coming forward which has helped in detection and timely treatment.

Hek stated that awareness has also led to a tremendous increase of cancer cases being registered.

Surgeries for cancer patients are also being carried out at the Civil Hospital Shillong, Ganesh Das Government Maternal and Child Hospital, Shillong and at NEIGRIHMS.