Due to closure of cancer unit in the Civil Hospital for the last four years, cancer patients are being exploited by the private hospitals. The cancer unit was set up in Civil Hospital in 2007 at the cost of about Rs.40 lakh to provide cancer treatment facilities to poor patients. Hundreds of cancer patients were given treatment here between 2007 to 2015. This was shared by Manav Awaaj, an NGO.

Four years back the cancer unit was closed after the cancer surgeon took voluntary retirement. Ever since, the cancer equipment have been gathering dust. In response to Manav Awaaj’s complaint to Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, Dr Jai Singh Malik, Medical Officer, Civil Hospital has informed that after the cancer surgeon took voluntary retirement, Dr Saurabh Deswal was sent to PGI Rohtak for six months training in cancer. After the completion of the training he was to take charge of the cancer unit last year on 9 April. He was duty bound to run the cancer OPD and do cancer surgeries.

According to the report of Dr Malik, the hospital has already provided supporting staff to Dr Deswal who has failed to perform his duty towards cancer care unit. Dr Deswal has been repeatedly issued explanation letters from Principal Medical Officer and Civil Surgeon regarding his non performance, with intimation to Director General, Health Services, Haryana, but all went in vain.

The Convener of Manav Awaaj NGO Advocate Abhay Jain, its spokesperson Banwari Lal Saini and Secretary, Dr D P Goyal who is involved in Cancer Awareness Campaign, told that during the last few years, there has been big increase in cancer patients. But due to absence of cancer treatment facility in Civil Hospital, patients are referred to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital and PGI Rohtak. And often they have to wait for hospital bed for months, risking their life. Fed up with this long wait, many patients have been turning to private hospitals where they are being exploited and highly charged for treatment. Keeping this in view, Manav Awaaj has written a letter to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Chairman of Haryana Human Rights Commission Justice Satish Mittal, appealing to them to give necessary directions to Health Department so that the cancer unit in Civil Hospital could be restarted at the earliest in order to provide proper treatment to cancer patients.

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