(Eds: updates with fresh inputs)
Guwahati, Feb 3 (PTI) Tata Trusts will operate 17 cancer care centres in partnership with Assam government across 15 districts in the state from next year, entailing an investment of around Rs 2,000 crore.
"Tata group has a long standing relation with Assam. Assam is very close to us. Our cancer care programme will be launched in the state in coming days," Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said at the inaugural function of the Global Investors Summit 2018 here.
Chandrasekaran said that the proposed healthcare initiative will be spread across 15 districts of the state.
Tata Trusts signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Assam government during the ongoing Advantage Assam - Global Investment Summit 2018, giving a formal shape to the plans.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said: "The paper works of the project have already been completed. We are going to set up a joint venture company, where both the parties will put in around Rs 1,000 crore each. So, the total investment will be around Rs 2,000 crore."
A Tata Trusts official said that the proposed infrastructure footprint comprises 17 centres across the state and it will be able to provide much-needed services starting early next year.
"The Assam government and Tata Trusts are partnering in strengthening cancer control through the governments health facilities. The programme will work in hub-and-spoke model with all the medical colleges acting as the hubs, while the district hospitals will function as diagnosis and day-care centres," he added.
The official further said that a three-tiered model has been conceived with leading oncologists, which would offer different levels of cancer care ranging from complicated procedures to simple diagnostic tests.
"The model envisages building capabilities in the existing public health system. These will constitute two step-down tiers to complement existing three apex cancer hospitals in the state, creating a unique care delivery model to address the cancer burden in Assam and neighbouring regions," he added.
The official further said that the model is centred on the use of technology and task shifting to facilitate operations in remote areas, and patient-centric design principles to provide a good in-hospital experience to the patient and care-giver.
"The model will ensure that no patient will have to travel more than a few hours for accessing the full suite of cancer treatment services. This 3-tier model will be supported by an extensive awareness, screening and early detection programme at the population level," he added.
Tata Trusts has convened a diverse group of top oncologists globally, leading cancer hospitals attached to the National Cancer Grid, engineers and contractors to be able to deliver on the infrastructure needed to provide diagnosis and treatment of cancer. PTI TR DG ESB JM