Facilities for cancer patients

The dreaded disease of cancer, as a natural corollary, demands special attention as also, in particular the ones unfortunately suffering from its ordeal. Unfortunately, reasonably enough is not being done in Jammu and Kashmir especially in Jammu region to the peril of the suffering patients. It seems paradoxical that while there are facilities available in Kashmir, the same till date have kept Jammu region deprived of forcing the matter to be brought into the domain of the State High Court. However, in this connection , Jammu and Kashmir Government had submitted a proposal to the Central Government, viz Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for setting up of a Cancer treatment Institute in Jammu which is stuck up in red tape and official tantrums.
However, a contempt petition seeking basic facilities for patients suffering from cancer in the State, Divisional Bench comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan has issued directions to both the Government of India as well as the State Government and asked to file a status report for setting up of facilities at Jammu as also advise about the progress in appointment of faculty members and persons on contract basis to enable utilisation of facilities in Jammu. There was proposal for making appointments in Nuclear Medicine in the Government Medical College Jammu and in that direction, the Public Service Commission too was asked to initiate the process forthwith.
In this connection, Rajiv Kumar, Director Ministry of Health and Family Welfare appeared in person wherein he informed the court about the proposal having already been received from the State Government in respect of establishing a State Cancer Institute under the Tertiary Care Cancer Facilities Scheme of Government of India and was under its consideration. It is believed that the Government of India needed certain clarification and information in respect of certain grants having been made in the year 2004-05 in respect of furnishing of a “Utilization Certificate”. There were also certain deficiencies in the proposal submitted by the State Government that required to be looked into and removed , hence the same could not be processed within the currency of the said scheme.
Where is the hump and how was that going to be removed, now lies in the extension part of the said scheme since it fell under the purview of the Union cabinet and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was awaiting the sanction accorded by the cabinet for extension of the said scheme. Could delays on account of procedural formalities be afforded to be put up with in respect of the issue being of such a critical importance , the Divisional Bench in this regard expressed its displeasure . Why should , after all, Jammu region suffer on this count where the patients suffering from this disease, as also their attendants and near ones, have to undergo avoidable inconveniences of time, energy and money by visiting neighbouring States for getting treatment?
Since the State Government had identified the land for establishing of the proposed cancer treatment Institute as also the building plans having been approved as also the necessary permission and nod having been received from all the concerned authorities including the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, what plays the spoil sport is the money factor. We understand that an amount of Rs.120 crore is needed in all for the construction and other infrastructural requirements of the Institute which must be released at an early date looking to the nature and the sensitivity of the matter.