SHILLONG, April 16: The implementation of the Megha Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) has been a boon to the people of the state, especially those suffering from cancer as it has greatly reduced their ‘out of pocket’ expenditure while undergoing treatment.
Informing this during the Assembly session here on Monday, State health minister AL Hek said, “This (MHIS) has greatly reduced the out-of-pocket expenses especially for patients suffering from cancer.”
Replying to a motion moved by Congress MLA from East Shillong Ampareen Lyngdoh, Hek said that a total of 993 cancer patients have been benefitted from the MHIS phase-I and the amount expended was Rs 50.96 lakh, another 523 under the MHIS-II at Rs 52.64 lakh while 298 cancer patients have been benefitted under the MHIS-III and the amount expended so far is 16.86 lakh.
“Thus the implementation of the MHIS is a boon to the citizens of the state, moreso, for cancer patients,” he added.
A total 1131 cancer patients were registered in the Cancer Department Civil Hospital, Shillong in 2017 and 192 were registered from January till March 21, this year, while 1323 in 2016, 1053 in 2015, 1099 – 2014, 1095 – 2013, 1023 – 2012, 867 – 2011 and 752 – 2010.
He said through various awareness camps organized and conducted by various agencies like the State Centre Society, people have been made more aware of cancer and are coming forward which has helped in detection and timely treatment.
According to the population based cancer registry, North East has the highest number of cancer cases and Meghalaya ranks number 4 after Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
Stating that due to the rapid growth of cancer patients in the state, the minister however said that the existing civil hospital could no longer accommodate more patients and at times have become very congested.
“This has given rise to patients being accommodated in the corridors, ramps and even in any free space in the hospital,” he added.
In view of this, Hek said that the state government through the Health & Family Welfare Department entered into an agreement in a form of Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to set up a cancer wing at Shillong Civil Hospital.
“Based on the MOU, an amount of Rs 26.16 crore was sanctioned in the year 2008 which includes construction of infrastructures, equipments, human resource development, cancer research activities and conducting seminars etc,” he said.
He informed that the civil works is near completion and it is hoped that this cancer wing having state-of-the-art equipments will be commissioned at the earliest which will greatly benefit cancer patients attending this hospital for management.
Admitting that the government is also seized of all the deficiencies in the hospital, the minister said that government would take all out efforts to take remedial steps to improve the services being provided, taking into consideration all suggestions from all citizens of all sections of the society.
He further stated that the provision of quality health care is of utmost importance and the government is fully committed to deliver.
According to him, the rising demand for quality health care services has stimulated the government to provide an efficient and purposeful preventive, curative and promotive health care to the citizens of the state.