Punjab government would soon launch a vigorous awareness campaign for early detection of cancer with the motto 'Cancer is curable if it is detected in time'.
A decision to this effect was taken by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal at a high-level meeting with senior officers of the health department.
Taking part in the deliberations, Badal said Punjab government had sanctioned about Rs 23 crore till date as financial assistance under state illness fund for the treatment of 2,020 cancer patients in the state but there were still a large number of unreported cancer patients.
He said there was a general trend among the people to ignore or conceal the health related problems which led them to a miserable condition. It was the need of the hour to make people aware by launching an awareness drive through mass media about various symptoms of dreaded diseases like cancer, hepatitis, diabetes and stroke to save precious lives, he added.
The chief minister called upon different private medical colleges, big private hospitals and non-government organisations (NGOs) to work in unison with the government's mission to provide timely detection facilities and treatment to the cancer patients.
He said the earlier concerted efforts had led to launch of breast cancer detection drive in collaboration with Roko Cancer Charitable Trust in Faridkot, Ferozepur, Moga and Muktsar where 569 suspected cases of breast cancer were detected after examining 29,171 females.
Badal asked these private health institutes to adopt certain areas as per their convenience for detection and treatment of cancer patients in the state.
The chief minister said he would take up the matter with the Centre to provide medicines for cancer patients at cheaper rates.