Minister for Health & Medical Education Bali Bhagat on Thursday informed that a high-end Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan machine worth Rs 23 crore has been made operational in SKIMS, Soura on January 7 this year for the convenience of cancer patients, adding that PET-Scan is a machine that is used to detect cancerous tissues and cells in body.
The Minister while replying to a question of legislator Saif-Ud-Din Bhat and supplementary question by legislators Qaiser Jamsheed Lone and Vibod Gupta informed that the Union government has sanctioned Rs 120 crore for establishment of two State Level Cancer Institute’s one each in Jammu and Srinagar. He further informed that it has also sanctioned Rs 45 crore for establishment of 3 District Level Cancer Centres at Kishtwar, Udhampur and Kupwara Districts.
The Minister informed that the Union Government has launched several schemes to extend financial assistance for treatment of cancer patients, adding that there is need to sensitize the masses about these schemes.
Replying to the main question, Bali Bhagat informed the House that around 5731 patients suffering from cancer have been registered during 2017 in the state. He further informed that tobacco, poor personal hygiene, unsanitary living conditions, low immunity, consumption of adulterated food, fruits and vegetables laden with pesticides, environmental pollutions are the major risk factor for cancers besides breast and colon cancer are increasing due to change in lifestyle, late age at first childbirth; obesity, fatty diet low in fiber, increased consumption of red meat and sedentary lifestyle are the main causes contributing to this life-consuming disease.
“Change in dietary habits and lifestyle are the main reasons for increase in diabetes mellitus type-2”, he informed.
While replying to club question of legislators Ramesh Arora, Qaiser Jamsheed Lone and Ajatshatru Singh, the Minister informed that 888 cases were registered while 1213 persons were arrested under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Ordinance/Excise Act in the State during 2017. Several measures have been taken to tackle with the menace of the drug in the state which includes the conduct of frequent raids around the educational institutions and surprise nakas to nab the persons involved in smuggling of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
120 bedded Government Psychiatric Hospital at Jammu with a separate male, female and emergency patients ward has been made functional during 2015, the Minister further informed.
The Minister, while replying to a question of legislator Ashok Khajuria, informed that the total number of vacant posts in Gazetted and Non-Gazetted cadres including doctors and paramedics are 579 and 1817 respectively. These vacancies have been referred to concerned recruiting agencies for selection of candidates, he added.
Bali Bhagat said that the department is making every effort to augment the staff strength by appointing doctors and paramedical staff on contractual and academic arrangement basis in Medical Colleges and various health institutions in the state.