Workshop highlights insufficient health care in Kashmir

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Arrangements for life-threatening exigencies nowhere to be seen: Vohra   

SRINAGAR: Considering the very large and growing population of the country, the health care services provided in the States are significantly insufficient, Governor N N Vohra said in his inaugural speech at the workshop “The Gulmarg Declaration” here at Gulmarg on Friday.

“Arrangements do not exist for the timely and adequate treatment of serious life threatening diseases like various Cancers,” he said.

Vohra inaugurated the cancer workshop organised by Breast Cancer Patients Benefit Foundation (BCPBF).

He lauded the establishment of the BCPBF, which had been set up by Dr Sameer Kaul and a number of other devoted persons drawn from various vocations, to undertake the important endeavour of spreading awareness about the need for early detection of Breast Cancer and also provide free cancer treatment to identified beneficiaries who had limited or no resources at all.

The Governor stressed the need for a country-wide initiative being launched by the State governments, private parties, NGOs and other stakeholders, to generate widespread awareness about the high incidence of breast cancer among women. 

He also emphasised that the awareness campaign must be accompanied by adequate arrangements for enabling early detection.

“A truly large scale campaign could be launched by the State Government joining hands with the corporate sector and voluntary organisations,” he said. “Such public-private partnerships could also contribute to an action plan being launched to establish suitable supporting medical infrastructure in the districts.”

Vohra stressed the need for governmental action with the widest possible support from the corporate sector to ensure that the essential cancer treatment medicines become available at an affordable price. 

In this context, he referred to the Union Health Ministry, and other concerned authorities, exercising the right of developing countries to have even patented life saving drugs manufactured under “compulsory licensing” arrangements, as permissible under the WTO regime.

The Governor also stressed the need for securing optimum results from the investments made and pointed to the need for the public at large being educated, trained and motivated to go to primary and secondary health care centres and approach the tertiary level institutions only on a reference from specialists. 

Referring to the large area, vast distances and difficult geography of Jammu and Kashmir, he felt that well-conceived pilot projects could be launched to draw up various possible approaches before finalising standard operating procedures for early detection and medical treatment.

Dr Sameer Kaul, President BCPBF, presented the Key Note Address while Dr MridulaGuleria and Dr Shahin Nooreyezdan, presented the Welcome Address and Vote of Thanks, respectively. 

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