The Delhi State Cancer Institute – the only government-run cancer hospital in the state – will reserve 80 per cent of free services for people from the state, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced. At present, only 40 per cent of the people getting treated at the hospital are Delhi residents.
Mr Kejriwal said the DSCI will also get an additional 6.5 acres of land for expansion of the institute that will help it create additional 1,000 beds exclusively for cancer patients. He also inaugurated an additional 24-bed semi-private ward and computerised blood pressure recording system, a free service for people.
Dr RK Grover, Director of DSCI said, “We want to ensure that while patients from Delhi are ensured medical facilities, patients coming from other states are not turned away. Therefore, these private wards will be a huge benefit for the hospital. We are also considering if some beds should be reserved for patients from Delhi and if patients from other states be charged a nominal amount for admission, tests and medicines.”
Mr Kejriwal also promised to clear all pending proposals for additional equipment within 10 days.
Many public health advocates, however, have called the move to reserve treatment discriminatory saying that denying admission is not a way to ease the financial burden on the hospitals in the capital. A senior doctor at DSCI said, “There are inequalities when it comes to cancer treatment in India with most of the best medical facilities and manpower based in big cities. There is a need to address that gap in order to control non-resident Delhi patients in hospitals here.”