The Andhra Pradesh government is set to develop Tirupati as a major hub for cancer care to boost availability and accessibility of treatment methods, said State Minister of Health, Family Welfare, and Medical Education Vidadala Rajini.
Speaking at a workshop on ‘Breast Cancer Continuum Care’, jointly organised by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Roche Pharma in Tirupati, the Minister added that a major step in this direction would be setting up of Balaji Institute of Oncology (BIO).
The Minister said that BIO is a state-of-the-art cancer centre that will provide high-end solutions in the field of genomics, personalised care, and targeted therapies, and a wide range of services such as preventive, surgical, medical and radiation oncology.
The Minister said that owing to the growing number of cancer patients in India, there is a need for a cancer care ecosystem within individual States. The institute would be connected to a string of cancer treatment facilities across the State to ensure comprehensive and advanced treatment options for patients.
“We aim to create a patient-centric cancer institute that will provide standardised and affordable treatment to patients in their hometowns, close to their near and dear ones,” Ms. Rajini said, adding that the SVIMS in Tirupati will also introduce a foundation course in palliative care in partnership with Pallium India next month, and establish a palliative care center with 30 beds in the beginning.
Nearly 200 healthcare professionals attended the workshop that discussed ways to raise awareness about personalised treatment options for breast cancer patients.
Roche Pharma Managing Director & CEO V. Simpson Emmanuel said that they would join the A.P. government in strengthening the cancer care ecosystem in the State with advanced treatment solutions, enhanced capacity building, and training programs for doctors.
Representatives of the State government observed that cancer patients were getting free treatment under Aarogyasri scheme. The government has spent ₹400 crore on cancer treatments so far, which is 25% of the total expenditure on the health sector.
Nori Dattatreyudu, Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister, and senior officials including GS Naveen Kumar, Secretary of Health, Medical & Family Welfare Department, and Vinod Kumar V, Director of Medical Education attended the event.