Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday laid the foundation stone for the country’s first National Hadron Beam Facility at the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) to help provide high-end cancer treatment. The Rs 425-crore project, spread over five acres, and funded by the Centre, is expected to be completed in four years and will cater to more than 11 lakh patients visiting the hospital every year.
The hospital also announced a new 200-bed Women and Children’s Hospital, a dharamshala to accommodate relatives of 250 patients and a hostel facility for 700 staff. “This is the first such centre in India that will bring us in the top select countries having highly developed cancer care facilities. The institute will also become a centre for research and education since cancer is emerging as the leading cause of death globally,” Singh said.
Hadron beam facility is a branch of radiation therapy that uses charged protons to kill the tumour in the affected body part. As opposed to conventional methods, which use X-ray beams, hadron beams cause minimum damage to the surrounding normal tissues.
The new dharamshala will help in accommodating the increasing number of outstation cases. “We have observed a drop-out during treatment due to lack of accommodation for relatives. Around 20 per cent pediatric cases drop out,” Dr Rajan Bavde, director at THM, said.