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Cuttack cancer hospital set for major makeover

Cuttack: The Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre at Cuttack, one of India`s 25 elite cancer centres, is all set for a major makeover to give it a status of an apex healthcare facility. Set up in 1981, the centre which caters to the need of ten crore people in the eastern region will get a major financial aid in the 12th five-year plan, informed the director general (DG) of medical council of India (cancer) Prof Nayan Mohanty.

Mohanty, who visited the place, said the regional centre would have a nearly 10 lakh square feet of plinth area to cater to the needs of all types of cancer patients. The new set up would see an increase in bed strength from the present 216 to 320 beds and the centre will have an increase in the strength of its doctors and other para-medic staff.

"All these facilities will be in place in next five years during the Twelfth Five Year Plan, beginning this year," Mohanty told newsmen here after visiting the centre. Sources said the centre is being upgraded to tackle the high cost of cancer diagnosis and treatment. The patients here will get free medicines and chemotherapy here, said the source.

Besides Odisha, people from neighbouring states pour into this hospital for treatment and more than 10,000 patients are admitted here every year while nearly 20,000 get outdoor treatment. There are plans to have state-of-the-art equipments in the centre, including that of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan which is an unique imaging test to help doctors find out how organs and tissues inside the body are actually functioning.

Currently, the PET scan is most commonly used to detect cancer and the facility is not available anywhere in Odisha, sources said. Sources further indicated that 80 percent of the total cost of expansion would be borne by the Centre while the remaining funds would be provided by the state government.

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