Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday asked the health department to provide free treatment to the cancer patients detected in the recently concluded state wide door to door survey.
Interacting with Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal and top brass of the department after they submitted survey report "Statewide door-to-door campaign, cancer awareness and symptom based early detection" to him, the CM reiterated the firm commitment of the government to eradicate cancer from the state, an official spokesman said.
Badal said the second phase of this programme should be solely aimed towards checking the spread of this lethal disease.
Expressing concern over the fact that 34,430 people in the state have lost their lives in last five years due to cancer, Badal said, sustainable efforts should be made to avert any such mishap in the future.
The Chief Minister said, "As under this survey around 97 per cent population of the state has been covered, so the Health department now has the concrete database through which they could provide timely treatment to the patients detected with even minute symptoms of cancer".
Badal directed the department to make sure that proper treatment was provided to 24,659 persons who have been reported suffering from this disease besides ensuring suitable diagnostic facilities to 87,403 people amongst whom the symptoms of cancer have been traced.
He hoped that the recent decision of the Cabinet to set up a dedicated fund for eradicating cancer from the state would prove to be another milestone in state government's crusade against it.
Badal said, "As the treatment of cancer was very costly, the Health department must make sure that every cancer patient was able to get immediate assistance from the Chief Minister's cancer Relief Fund." Earlier, Mittal apprised the CM that more than 40,000 duly trained field workers had accomplished this task by visiting 51,58,154 houses across the state.
He said this pilot project has been completed in a record time of one month.