'Lessons learnt from Covid could back policies to prevent, treat cancer'

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS): The lessons from India's fight against the pandemic can serve as valuable beacons in our targeted policies for prevention and treatment of cancer, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on Tuesday.

Bhushan said this while addressing the National Workshop on 'Roadmap for Cancer Treatment' here on Tuesday.

Addressing the workshop, he said: "Any initiative related to cancer control and management cannot be implemented in silos but needs to be taken up with the 'whole of government and whole of society' approach as has been our learning from management of the pandemic, since the issue is cross-cutting across various government and non-government management spheres."

The Union Health Secretary pointed the pandemic has taught us that health is not the exclusive responsibility of only the Union Health Ministry but jointly addressed by various ministries at the Centre and through state governments.

"Health cannot reside only at the tertiary healthcare centers, but has a huge footprint in the primary and secondary levels too. Tertiary health facilities of ministries such as labour, railways, steel, ONGC, atomic energy etc., can be pooled to make a significantly large and sustainable network of healthcare for an exponential impact of healthcare delivery," he noted.

Highlighting the paradigm change that the National Health Mission (NHM) has recently undergone, he noted that not only primary and secondary healthcare services, but referrals with linkages to tertiary health services are being provided through a comprehensive end-to-end delivery solution.

Bhushan identified framing, sharing and adherence of evidence based common SOPs for critical care management as another learning for cancer management. He mentioned that capacity building also to be ensured with clear communication with all stakeholders and feedback procedures put in place.

"We need to adapt and promote health technology and prevention and treatment of cancer such as telemedicine for improved access to care," he stressed.



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Title: 'Lessons learnt from Covid could back policies to prevent, treat cancer'

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