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Posted at: Jun 14, 2019, 7:03 AM; last updated: Jun 14, 2019, 7:03 AM (IST)

Patients suffer as cancer hospital sans urologist

Patients suffer as cancer hospital sans urologist
The Advanced Cancer Institute and Hospital in Bathinda. Tribune photo

Sameer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 13

In the absence of an urologist at the Advanced Cancer Institute and Hospital, a number of patients with urinary and prostate cancer from the region have to either return without treatment of visit other cities for the same.

With no urinary expert, doctors at the cancer hospital have been referring patients to Chandigarh and Ludhiana for the past over three years.

Notably, several patients from the Malwa region and other states, including Haryana and Rajasthan, visit the cancer hospital here for treatment.

Sources said people from the rural belt of the region were not only unaware of cancer and its symptoms but also did not have adequate financial backing for the treatment of the deadly disease. Citing a long distance and poverty, a number of patients opt out of treatment either at the initial stage or even after being diagnosed with cancer.

The sources added that the matter was brought to the notice of senior officials on a number of occasions, but no concrete steps were taken to appoint an urologist at the cancer hospital. Moreover, there is only one surgical oncologist at the hospital who performs all operations.

Due to the unavailability of an urologist and assisting medical staff, patients are asked to undergo treatment either at the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, or the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.

Kapil Verma, a native of Haryana, said, “My mother had cancer in bladder. After visiting the hospital, staff members here told us that there is no urologist. After looking at medical reports, one of the doctors asked us to either visit Ludhiana or Chandigarh for treatment.”

Another patient from Mansa Kulbeer Singh, who suffers from prostate cancer, said travelling to Chandigarh for treatment every time was difficult so the government must ensure that an urology unit at the cancer hospital.

Kulbeer said patients who were financial strong could avail treatment at private hospitals, but a majority of the patients like them could not afford to pay for the treatment bills charged by private hospitals.

Dr Deepak Arora, medical superintendent, Advanced Cancer Institute and Hospital, said, “We have a surgical oncologist who treats patients with urinary problems. If patients need special medical intervention of an urologist, we refer them to other hospitals. However, appointment of an urologist will certainly benefit the patients visiting the cancer hospital.”


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