Srinagar, June 27: Minister for Health and Medical Education, Mr. Bali Bhagat today informed that there are number of factors which lead to cancer. He said though there is no specific study to indicate alarming increase in cancer in the state or valley over and above the normative prevalence. He said smoking, dietary habits and environmental factors may be contributory to cancer incidence in the state.
Replying to a question of M. Y. Tarigami, the Minister said that public awareness camps are being organized in educational institutions and hospitals for sensitizing the masses about the causes and effects of the cancer disease. He said besides various safety measures are also being discussed to prevent the prevalence of cancer during the awareness programmes. He said screening at large scale are also being conducted for early detection of cancer.
The Minister said that specific studies on the subject are planned through Government Medical Colleges and SKIMS, in addition to existing and ongoing research work in the field.
The Minister said that to diagnose and detect the cancer disease, the Government would install PET Scanning Machine in Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura shortly. He said, in this regard, the requisite formalities have been completed and necessary order for procurement of PET Machine was placed to a reputed company, saying that the cost of the machine is Rs. 15 crore. He said PET Scanning Machine for diagnosing cancer ailment would also be installed in Jammu. He said, in this regard, the Government would approach Centre for sanctioning of funds at the earliest.
The Minister said that as per the guidelines of the National Health Mission (NHM), the services of Medicos, para medicos and other staff except ASHA workers are hired purely on contractual basis and their contracts are being renewed every year after appraisal of the performance. He said, however, ASHA worker is not a contractual employee but she is primarily an ‘honorary volunteer’ who is being provided incentives for rendering services.
The Minister said NHM guidelines do not provide for regularization of such workers engaged on contract as on date. He said the Government order with regard to reservation of 25 per cent out of the total seats sanctioned for various courses in AMT and ANTM schools of the state for the eligible ASHA workers continues to be in vogue. He said applications are invited and secured from eligible candidates as per the Government order in this regard.