Maharashtra’s free chemotherapy plan to start in 4 districts by July 1

Mumbai: The first phase of a Maharashtra government scheme to provide free chemotherapy treatment to cancer patients will be rolled out in four of the ten shortlisted districts from July 1, a senior health department official said. He said that the four districts in which the scheme will be rolled out in phase one will be decided in a couple of days.

A Health department official told PTI that training of the medical staff had been completed at Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Centre, a premier cancer treatment facility. The scheme was announced by the state government in April this year and Nagpur, Gadchiroli, Pune, Amravati, Jalgaon, Nashik, Wardha, Satara, Bhandara and Akola districts were shortlisted.

The scheme aims to alleviate problems of cancer patients who, currently, have to travel to Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai’s Parel area for chemotherapy sessions which last for six weeks. While announcing it, state Health Minister Deepak Sawant had said the initiative would help patients save in lodging and travelling expenses.

According to the National Cancer Registry Programme, 11 lakh people are diagnosed with cancer every year across the country. Five lakh cancer-afflicted people die annually and the total number of cancer patients stood at around 28 lakh, data from the National Cancer Registry Programme showed.

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