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Home News and Update Year 2010 Patients Suffer As Guntur Cancer Clinic Stops Working

Patients Suffer As Guntur Cancer Clinic Stops Working

Times of India
25 June 2010
Kakinada, India

T Dhanalakshmi of Pithapuram grimaces in untold pain. A cancer patient, she makes rounds to the government general hospital (GGH) here for treatment but goes back disappointed.

Not only Dhanalakshmi, hundreds of cancer patients from nearby towns and coastal districts are subjected to excruciating ordeal due to the non–functioning of the pain and palliative clinic in the GGH since six months.

"If the clinic is not made functional soon, I would resort to suicide. I cannot afford the expensive treatment in private hospitals and costly drugs which are also not available in medical shops," bemoans another patient K V Raghava Reddy of Kakinada.

All is not well in the only cancer treatment unit in the state in the government sector due to lack of medicines and expert hands. The services were also hit badly by the transfer of cancer expert A S Kameswara Rao and shortage of doctors. "We were not able to render services through the clinic as there are no trained doctors for administering the drugs to the patients," explained GGH superintendent M B R Sarma.

The pain and palliative care clinic was inaugurated by late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in 2005, promising to offer exclusive services to cancer–hit patients. Unfortunately, the situation has turned from bad to worse in the last few months with the patients being turned away.

"The sufferings of the patients is seen to be believed. We are running from pillar to post for the medicines but the authorities seem to be oblivious to our concerns," rues K Nageswara Rao, a relative of a cancer patient.

Experts said it is shocking that the state has only three such clinics in government hospitals catering to cancer patients. The other two are MNJ Hospital in Hyderabad and Indian Red Cross Society cancer clinic in Nellore.

"There are 117 pain and palliative centres in Kerala alone and a reasonably good number in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It’s appalling that the government hasn’t bothered to set up such clinics in government hospitals to meet the needs of cancer patients," an expert said.

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