KOCHI: The rising number of cancer patients flocking to the General Hospital, Ernakulam, which has limited facilities, for surgery is giving credence to the demand for immediate opening of the operation theatre at the Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC).
According to informed people, the General Hospital is not able to handle the rush of patients for to the hospital. "Only one day is allotted for surgery in a week at the operation theatre and there is only one surgical oncologist at the hospital presently," said a health activist in the city, preferring not to be named. "Many patients are now directed to CCRC, Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), Thiruvananthapuram, and private hospitals."
On an average over 60 patients consult the surgical oncologist at the OP of the hospital once in a week, of which only 40 per cent are taken care of at the hospital.
"There is tremendous backlog for surgery at the hospital," the activist said. "Overall over 160 cancer patients visit medical oncologist, surgical oncologist and radiation oncologist put together. The hospital is virtually bursting at the seams. Realisation of the facilities at the CCRC at the earliest is need of the hour to serve the patients in Central Kerala effectively."
He said that currently many patients do not have the wherewithal to undergo treatment in private hospitals, leave alone surgeries, due to high costs. "These patients find it equally difficult to stay in Thiruvananthapuram with relatives and undergo treatment at RCC. The cost for relatives to stay there is a major problem. So, early realisation of the facilities including the opening of the operation theatre and utilising the services of the four surgical oncologists there are badly needed to serve the poor patients better," he said.
The four surgeons at CCRC are its director Dr Moni Kuriakose who is a head and neck surgeon, medical superintendet Dr P G Balagopal, gynaecology oncology surgeon Dr Neetha Sreedharan and Dr Sisha Liz Abraham. They occasionally conduct surgeries at the available slots in the EGMC operation theatres.
“Since the reporting of a Nipah case in Ernakulam recently, this too has been stopped. Many doctors do not report regularly at the centre even as many more new doctors are set to join it," said the health activist....