Tertiary Cancer Care Centres

If the successive State Governments in Jammu and Kashmir do not either wilfully or for reasons extraneous to the issues particular , co-operate with the Central Government to have a much needed particular facility and that too in respect of concerning health like treating a serious disease, who was going to be blamed is not that important as it is to know as to who were going to be affected. To put the matter straight, the State Government was directed by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry to meet a few pre- conditions in respect of setting up of three Tertiary Cancer Care Centres, one each in Kishtwar , Udhampur and Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir State to pave the way for according sanction of these centres followed by releasing of funds but the State failed to do its part of job in the matter . It has, therefore, resulted in the Union Ministry not giving any formal sanction. The focus, instead, is now only on making State Cancer Institute functional at Government Medical College Jammu.
The confusion in the matter has , as such resulted in denying of quality speciality services to the people and decentralizing the treatment of this frightened disease, the policy of which was conceived as back as in early 2013. Nothing on the ground has happened excepting the policy having remained confined to papers and hollow promises alone made by political leaders. We are pained to see that the State Governments and in particular the successive Health Ministers, routinely kept misleading the people by resorting to issuing statements both inside and outside the State Legislature mentioning different dates and time-lines for the actual start of work and that too, in the absence of any formal sanction accorded by the Union Ministry.
How the people are misled and issues just hyped, can be gauged by the fact that even a foundation stone was laid for setting up of such centre at an isolated place in the outskirts of Kishtwar in late 2016 by the then Minister for Health in the PDP- BJP Coalition Government Bali Bhagat where the Minister, while addressing the gathering , had claimed that the work on the centre would commence shortly as the Government was all set to complete the formalities for obtaining funds from the Central Government. This was not the factual position as it proved nothing short of an exercise to take the people for a ride. Had there been any sanction given by the Union Ministry, it could have carried some sense. It later vividly unfolded that, the State Government at any point of time had never demanded setting up of such centres but it was, as a policy matter an initiative of the Central Government itself in this regard. What more priorities, it is wondered, the State Government had, that it got no time for just to cooperate with the Union Ministry to have these Cancer Care Centres established in the State?
Union Government, it can be appreciated, cannot afford to go the way some State Governments , chiefly Jammu and Kashmir could easily manage go as they have set procedure which has to be followed before obtaining formal sanction of any project. We are privy to the system , here in the State, where even submission of the mandatory ‘Utilization Certificates’ too are treated as optional in majority of the cases but not without at the cost of obtaining additional or left out instalments of funds for many projects under construction, on deferred basis or never at all. Now , in the instant case , the focus is on the GMC Jammu to run and make functional State Cancer Institute as the State has lost validity in establishing of the Tertiary Cancer Care Centres as any further extension from the Union Ministry is unlikely to take place. However, the question is as to who was accountable for all this to express regrets, if not face the consequences as we have no system for penalising non performance.