The Meghalaya High Court has issued notice to the State government over the non-availability of a comprehensive cancer hospital in the State.
The notice was issued by the division bench of the High Court today on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Lurshaphrang Shongwan, a resident of Mawlai Kynton Massar here.
Shongwan in his PIL had sought an inquiry by the court on the inordinate delay in completion of the Cancer Treatment Centre at Shillong Civil Hospital and non-proper utilisation of funds amounting to Rs 26.16 crore sanctioned by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India.
He also said that out of the Rs 19.84 crore received by the State government for the Cancer Treatment Centre, utilisation certificates for only Rs 9.77 crore were submitted to the Government of India.
He also said that the State government has failed to fix responsibility and take action against those responsible for not utilizing the amount received from the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India.
Shongwan also stated in his PIL that despite the rsing number of cancer cases in Meghalaya, facilities like State Cancer Institute, Tertiary Cancer Care Centre and Regional Care Centre are not made available causing more troubles and burden to cancer patients in the State.
He also said that the State has only one Population Based Cancer Registry at Shillong Civil Hospital covering only four districts – East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi and Jaintia Hills.
According to him, non-inclusion of the remaining seven districts in the registry is “highly improper, arbitrary and illegal” on the part of the State government.
Further, Shongwan said that Megha Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) provides for financial aid amounting to Rs 5 lakh to all citizens of the State but due to non-availability of Cancer Hospital and medicines, the scheme has remained only in paper.
He also mentioned that due to negligence and shortage od specialists at Shillong Civil Hospital, the cancer patients have to wait for radiotherapy treatment for months together.