The Lok Nayak Hospital has finally received the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s licence to restart radiation therapy, which has been non-functional for the past two years.
On June 2, this year, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had also revoked the teaching licence of radiotherapy department of Maulana Azad Medical College, the teaching college attached to Lok Nayak Hospital, because the students could not get practical experience.
The nod came after the hospital’s cobalt machine — used to treat cancer of cervix, breast, head and neck, lung, bone, brain, gastro-intestinal, among others — was repaired.
HT had carried out a series of reports, highlighting the problems being faced by thousands of cancer patients who were denied treatment at the hospital.
“This was long due and we are glad that the department is finally functioning. Since our cobalt source is old, we can treat 30 patients compared to 60 possible from a fresh source,” said a senior resident from the department of radiotherapy at the Lok Nayak Hospital. About 200 patients need treatment daily.
Doctors say the department should run two shifts to meet the demand. “The Delhi government should assign three more technicians so that we can work in double shifts to meet the demand,” said a doctor, who did not want to be named. According to the Delhi cancer registry, at least 1.2 million new cancer patients get treatment in the city every year. The faculty at MAMC is relieved as their PG students and senior resident doctors who earlier had to go to AIIMS for research and teaching work can now get hands-on training on the radio therapy machine at Lok Nayak Hospital itself.