Dr SC Sharma, head, department of radiotherapy, PGI, and his wife Dr Firuza Patel, professor in the same department, retired on Saturday after sharing their 40-year-long journey as immediate colleagues at the premier medical institute.
Sharma and his wife joined the PGI in 1974 and 1975 respectively after doing their post-graduation and became professors in 1999.
In the press statement issued by the hospital, the couple worked hard to bring the department to a level which is recognised both nationally and internationally.
“The couple is satisfied that they are leaving behind a department which is well equipped for treatment of cancer patients by any radiotherapy technique and the one known for teaching and producing well-trained professionals in various fields of radiation oncology,” the press release said.
Prof SC Sharma took over as head of the department in April 1994.
In 1990s, there were huge technological advances in the field of radiation oncology and he worked hard to bring new technology to the institute for the benefit of cancer patients.
He introduced Ir-192 HDR brachytherapy in 1995 and was the first in the country to start intraluminal brachytherapy for better control of lung and oesophageal cancer. He also started two new courses - B.Sc med technology in radiotherapy and M.Sc. medical physics in collaboration with Panjab University, Chandigarh.
On the other hand, Dr Patel too had important contributions to her credit.
In the late 1990s, she was pained to see the sufferings of terminally-ill cancer patients, who were left to fend for themselves without any support.
She thus got trained in palliative care in the United Kingdom and then established a palliative care clinic in the department of radiotherapy.
In collaboration with the UT Red Cross Society she established a home care service for tricity patients who could not come to the hospital and later established a centre for terminally-ill cancer patients in Sector 43.
This facility is free and is supported by the general public with donations.