Resonating with the true spirit of Diwali, the Tata Trusts, under the supervision of Ratan Tata, has pledged to donate Rs. 1,000 crores to providing affordable cancer treatment and building new hospitals across India, in their endeavour to making cancer treatment facilities accessible to every Indian. Assam, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are slated to soon witness the much-needed new hospitals. Under Ratan Tata’s personal watch, this project promises to aid the Central Government with all other necessary resources that will help develop cancer-care facilities in the five mentioned states, based on the example set by Parel’s Tata Memorial Hospital, which currently is country’s top cancer-care centre, that provides free or highly subsidised treatment in over 60% of the cases, thus causing a massive workload, leading to a long waiting list.
Ratan Tata had recently shared his desire to open more affordable cancer treatment centres and also urged Tata Group companies to chip in through their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) programmes, since majority patients that visit Mumbai’s Tata Cancer Hospital hail from struggling families who are unable to afford stay in expensive cities like Mumbai for long, and end up quitting the treatment midway. The new facilities will also help tackle this problem.
Providing a breakup of the Rs 1,000-crore aid, Tata Trusts has signed an agreement with the Assam government for upgrading the main cancer care institute in Guwahati and adding capacity (advanced tertiary care facilities chemotherapy, radiation and surgical oncology), costing a total of Rs. 540 crore that will be utilized in three phases. A new hospital will come up in Jaipur, Rajasthan at the cost of Rs. 200 crore, while the state government there will bear most of the cost. In Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, the existing Indian Railways cancer institute and research centre will be upgraded by the Tata Memorial which has taken over this existing facility recently. In Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, the Tirupati Balaji Temple Trust will provide 25 acres for a new facility. In Ranchi, Jharkhand, Tata Trusts will be allotted 23.5 acres for a new centre.
“I am extremely delighted to have met the legendary Ratan Tata and members of the Tata Trusts for what may become a rare philanthropy-government collaboration on cancer care and management,” tweeted Assam’s Health Minister, Himanta Sarma on 12 October, 2017.
“Once the new or upgraded centres start operations, patients from north India won’t have to come all the way to Mumbai for basic treatment,” said a senior doctor at Tata Memorial.
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