Kochi: This would sound bizarre. The tertiary cancer care institution under the State Government in Kochi, the Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC) is not in the knowledge of the qualifications of the pathologist who has been deployed at the institution as part of the Ernakulam District Cancer Control Programme.
The project is first of its kind being implemented in the state, for awareness and early detection of cancer cases and its cure in a bid to make Ernakulam cancer-free.
The CCRC is implementing the District Cancer Control Programme in association with the National Health Mission (NHM) and the Ernakulam District Panchayat.
The CCRC public information officer in his reply to the RTI queries said that the National Health Mission has appointed a pathologist named Dr Chinnu Kurien at CCRC. The CCRC public information officer who is the registrar cum administrative officer of the institution, however, has failed to answer a batch of other pertinent questions in the RTI query.
The questions are ‘from where the pathologist has taken her MD degree’, ‘in which year and month the pathologist took the MD degree’, ‘whether the doctor had received pathology special training/fellowship’, ‘whether the pathologist had prior experience in an important cancer centre’, ‘if the pathologist had experience, then in which hospital and for how long?’
These questions met with the answer, “this information is not available in this office’. The last question ‘whether the particular doctor needs to give a report on dignosing cancer’ has been met with the answer ‘the answer can be sought from the appointing authority.’
However, informal enquiries revealed that the pathologist appointed for the programme is a recent passout in MD Pathology who has no experience in oncopathology. The appointment assumes significance since any wrong di-gnosis will have serious implications which can lead to administering treatment like chemotherapy on people without cancer.
The recent incident happened in Kottayam Medical College where a woman was wrongly diagnosed with cancer by an experienced pathologist and administered chemotherapy is yet to fade from memory and experts wonder what would be the fallout in the hands of inexperience hands in such mass programmes....