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In a bid to provide high-end treatment to combat cancer, Prime minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the National Hadron Beam Facility in Mumbai on Friday at the Tata Memorial hospital(TMH). The 425 crore project, funded by the Government of India, is expected to get completed within four years and will cater to more than 11 lakh patients visiting the hospital every year.
The PM also laid the foundation stone for a new 200-bedded Women and Children’s hospital, a new ‘dharamshala’ to accommodate relatives of 250 patients and hostel facility for 700 persons.
“This is the first such center in India that will bring us in the top select countries having highly developed cancer care facilities. The institute will also become a center for research and education since cancer is emerging as the leading cause of death globally,” the PM said.
Hadron beam facility is a branch of radiation therapy that uses charged protons to kill the tumour source in the body. As opposed to the conventional methods, Hadron beams cause minimum damage to the surrounding normal tissues.
Currently, there are 36 Proton therapy centers and six carbon center across the globe. Another 38 proton centers are under construction, including the one at TMH.
While the cost of hadron beam treatment is as high as one crore, the hospital will provide free treatment to 60 per cent patients and charge 10 lakhs from other patients.
Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who also attended the event, said, “This center will help in increasing the life expectancy of cancer patients. Radiation is inevitable in most cancer cases, but with hadron beam facility, the damage to the normal cells will be reduced.”
The government also laid the foundation stone for the Homi Bhabha Cancer hospital and Research Center in Chandigarh on December 30,which is also an establishment of Tata hospital followed by another foundation stone in Jhajjar(near Delhi) for the National Cancer Institute on January 3 under AIIMS(All India Institute of Medical Sciences). In the coming days, the PM stated that another center under TMH will be started in Vishakapatnam to cater to the South India region.