New Delhi : “Lessons from India’s fight against the pandemic can serve as valuable beacons in our targeted policies for prevention and treatment of Cancer. Any initiative related to cancer control and management cannot be implemented in silos but needs to be taken up with “whole of govt and whole of society” approach as has been our learning from management of the pandemic, since the issue is crosscutting across various government and non-government management spheres”, Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary stated this while addressing National Workshop on “Roadmap for Cancer Treatment”,here today.
Further elaborating, Union Health Secretary pointed that the pandemic has taught us that health is not the exclusive responsibility of only the Union Health Ministry but jointly addressed by various Ministries at the Centre and through state governments. He added that health cannot reside only at the tertiary healthcare centers, but has a huge footprint in the primary and secondary levels too. Tertiary health facilities of Ministries such as Labour, Railways, Steel, ONGC, Atomic Energy etc., can be pooled to make a significantly large and sustainable network of healthcare for an exponential impact of healthcare delivery, he noted. Highlighting the paradigm change that the National health Mission (NHM) has recently undergone, he noted that not only primary and secondary healthcare services, but referrals with linkages to tertiary health services are being provided through a comprehensive end-to-end delivery solution.
Shri Rajesh Bhushan identified framing, sharing and adherence of evidence based common Standards of Protocols for critical care management as another learning for cancer management. These can guide the restructuring and refinement of the National Cancer Control Programme of Union Health Ministry, he noted. Capacity building of healthcare providers is required through regular training, retraining and skill enhancement for cancer care. He mentioned thatcapacity building also to be ensured with clear communication with all stakeholders and feedback procedures put in place. “We need to adapt and promote health technology and prevention and treatment of cancer such as telemedicine for improved access to care”, he stressed. Various “Hub and Spoke” models implemented in some states such as Assam, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh,Bihar can be emulated by other states, along with detailed mapping of the facilities with the granular planning of healthcare delivery, he suggested.
Sessions on the following topics were organized in the one-day national workshop organized by Union Health Ministry:
i. Infrastructure and human resources for Cancer Care in India
ii. Affordability of Cancer Care in India
iii. Best Practices with respect to cancer care by States
iv. Review of Ongoing Projects and its related issues
Ms. Roli Singh, AS & MD (NHM), Shri Vishal Chauhan, Joint Secretary (Policy), Dr Rajendra Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Centre were also present at the event along with other senior officials from various states and medical institutes.