Within one year,people from all over the country will come to Punjab for treatment of various types of cancer,Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Tuesday at the launch of a two-day cancer screening camp to be held in all 22 districts.
The government is organising the screening camp in partnership with Max India Foundation and cricketer Yuvraj Singh,who is the projects awareness ambassador. The camp,which will be held in district hospitals and the three government medical colleges on September 28 and 29,will be largest ever screening camp in the world,officials claimed.
Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Vini Mahajan said that the government has conducted a widespread door-to-door campaign earlier this year. It was found that around 30,000 people had of cancer. There are around 87,000 cases of reported symptoms,which could be indicative of cancer, she added.
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Yuvraj Singh,who is also the founder and Chairman of YOUWECAN a foundation set up to spread awareness about the campaign said: I,too,have fought cancer. Though I had the support of family and friends,I was scared. I urge the people of Punjab to come forward and get treated at an early age rather than pushing it to an advanced stage.
While addressing the gathering,Badal said: If Yuvraj can hit sixes after successfully fighting cancer,so can everybody else. Punjabis have a habit of sitting over a disease till it reaches an alarming stage. I appeal to the people to get checked in this camp so that there can be early detection and treatment. Twenty years ago,I too had this complaint of cancer. I went to the US for treatment and here I am,sitting amongst you. My father and my wife also fell prey to cancer.
The chief minister also said that the state government had already transferred its prime land in Mullanpur near Chandigarh for the setting up of a world class cancer hospital on the lines of Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital in Mumbai. This 400-bed hospital project is currently awaiting the nod of the Union Cabinet,he said.
In Bathinda,a 100-bed hospital under Baba Farid university will be completed in December.
By next year,you will find that Punjab will have specialised treatment for cancer and people from different parts of the country and even abroad will come to the state to get treatment, he said.
While asking Mahajan to ensure that cancer medicines are sold at cheaper rates,Badal said: I have received medicines being sold at rates higher than the market price in Faridkot Medical College, he said.
Ajay Bakshi,CEO of Max Healthcare,said that the hospital will provide around 100 senior doctors and oncologists for the camp,besides partnering up with 500 other volunteers from hospitals,colleges and pharmaceutical companies.