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Furnish updated details about treatment of cancer patients: HC to SKIMS.

The High Court on Tuesday granted two weeks to SKIMS authorities to furnish updated details about Oncology related surgeries being performed at the tertiary care hospital.

A division bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey and Justice Sanjeev Kumar directed the SKIMS through its additional advocate general, Shah Aamir to file within the stipulated time an updated status report.

The court also asked the state counsel to give details with reference to aspects highlighted by the court in its order dated 7 April 2018.

The court further ordered the state counsel to provide copy of the report to petitioner’s counsel, Salih Pirzada, who has to file his response to the report thereafter.

In response to query from the bench as to how a cancer patient from a far-flung area like Tangdar will be benefited, state counsel Shah Aamir told the court: “Let him come to SKIMS. He will get the best treatment, we have the latest medical technology available”.

In its status report, the SKIMS has said the establishment of State Cancer Institute (SCI) only means up-gradation of the already existing Regional Cancer Center (RCC).  “The building will have at least 100 beds for the departments like Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Surgical Oncology, Clinical Hematology and Pain and Palliative Care services,” the report said.

The report reveals that surgeries for various forms of cancer are done by the respective surgical departments all over the world and the same is also done at SKIMS.

“Brain tumors are operated upon by the Neurosurgeons, Chest tumors are operated by Thoracic surgeons and abdominal tumors are operated by the G I Surgeons. Surgical oncology having separate ward of about 20 beds operate five theaters a week. And patients can always be referred to other surgical department for surgery”.

The report said five new operation theaters meant for cancer related surgeries on everyday basis are being made functional.

On June 2, the High Court had directed the SKIMS authorities to explore possibility of carrying out oncology related surgeries on patients during all the days of a week.

The court direction was issued after Advocate Syed Musaib on behalf of the petitioner had informed the court that there was a long list of cancer patients as surgical oncology department at SKIMS was performing only 4 surgeries in two days of a week. Rabia Khurshid, a cancer patient through her son, advocate Musaib has filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Court seeking directions for setting up of operation theaters for cancer patients in the State cancer institute.

“The number of cancer patients has increased considerably and on an average a patient has to wait for six weeks for the surgery. This wait can prolong further in keeping with the exigencies as the doctors have to fix priority for a surgery,” she pleads.

She says the patients die while waiting for the surgeries. Jammu and Kashmir State, she contends, has witnessed an unprecedented 87 percent rise in cancer cases during last 7 years.

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