KOCHI: In a major boost to the fledgling Kochi Cancer Research Centre (KCRC), the state government-owned Kerala Medical Service Corporation Ltd (KMSCL) will provide medicines free of cost to it. The state government order in this regard was issued the other day. “Since the government has declared all cancer patients as BPL category, the decision on KMSCL will benefit all kinds of patients,” said Dr P.G. Balagopal, KCRC medical superintendent. Earlier, KMSCL had maintained that supply of free medicines was not applicable to autonomous institutions. “Since KCRC is an autonomous institution under the state government this rule had hit us. We are happy to overcome it,” he added.
“Before this order came we had to make advance payment for purchase of medicines from KMSCL and the institution was struggling with that and had to wait for medicines also. With the new order even chemotherapy medicines worth Rs 10,000 will be available for patients for free,” he added. Dr Balagopal said that now the cancer centre is proceeding to sign MoUs with other Karunya pharmacies and Dhanwathari for supply of medicines.
“The overall situation is proceeding for the better and once the operation theatre of the Ernakulam Government Medical College set apart for the cancer centre becomes operational, the patients will be immensely benefited by all these moves,” Dr Balagopal added. Meanwhile, it is learnt that INKEL, which is entrusted with the preparation of the detailed project report of the cancer centre is into its final stages and is keen to overcome criticisms targeted at its lack of competency in undertaking the project. However, the agency is limiting this attempt to the resources available in the government sector in the state, rather than making an earnest effort to make a world class cancer research centre in Kochi.