Published on: September 22, 2011

The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, while addressing the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases which began on 19th September 2011 at New York, made a special mention of palliative care as one of the strategies for controlling Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

He mentioned that by 2012, 100 district hospitals in the country would have palliative care facilities.

Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad informed that alarmed by the rising incidence of the non-communicable diseases and its impact on the health care delivery, a national summit was held in India subsequent to the Global Health Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Disease Control in Moscow in April 2011.

“Besides the Delhi Call for Action from the national meet, we now also have 10 key messages from the recently held WHO South-East Asia Regional meeting at Jaipur in India”, he added.

The Union Health Minister emphasized that Non Communicable Diseases are not only a health issue but also a development issue as they impact productivity and also impoverish the society due to high health expenditures. Therefore, the Government of India has launched a “National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVDs) and Stroke (NPCDCS)” and the “National Programme for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE)”. This has been taken up for implementation as a pilot project covering 150 million population in 100 inaccessible and most backward districts during the current financial year (2011-2012) at a cost of 275 million USD.

The program includes several components such as: Establishment of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) clinics at 100 district hospitals and 700 Community Health Centers (CHCs) for diagnosis and management of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD), Diabetes & Stroke and Cardiac Care Unit in district hospitals; ensuring availability of life saving drugs – wherein an additional 1,250 USD will be provided to each district hospital in 100 districts; For early detection of cancer common diagnostic services are being provided at these 100 district hospitals. Provision is also being made for basic surgery, chemotherapy and palliative care at these hospitals; For supporting Chemotherapy, drugs will be provided in these 100 district hospitals for 10,000 patients at the cost of 25 million USD; In addition, 65 centres are being strengthened as Tertiary Cancer Centres (TCCs) to provide comprehensive cancer care services at a cost of 1.5 million USD each.

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