Cuttack: Passing its interim order after hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a cancer patient, Anita Buddhia, Orissa High Court today directed the State Government to immediately bear all the expenses borne on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) scan by all the cancer patients across Odisha.
The High Court also got shocked to know that Odisha’s premier Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer in Cuttack city lacks the required machine and equipment meant for the PET-CT Scan.
Due to unavailability of this at the State’s premier cancer-care facility, the patients are facing a lot of financial hardships either at the private hospitals or labs.
Petitioner Anita Buddhia is herself a cancer patient after being diagnosed last year. After undergoing treatment outside Odisha, she preferred Acharya Harihar Cancer Hospital since it is situated in her native place Cuttack city.
As the State-run premier cancer hospital lacks PET-CT Scan facilities, the cancer-afflicted petitioner was bound down to have her tests at private institutes. She had to spend over a lakh of rupees for four tests last year.
The petitioner apprised the High Court that over 500 cancer patients come to Acharya Harihar Cancer Institute everyday and at least 25 patients are advised to go in for the PET-CT Scan daily. For a single test, a cancer patient has to fork out Rs 23,000 to the private institute.
Through her petition, Anita Buddhia has questioned why the PET-CT Scan facilities are unavailable at the State-run premier cancer hospital when the State Government has been spending crores of rupees for its upgradation.
The petitioner also prayed the High Court to direct the Odisha Government to immediately install PET-CT Scan, MRI and other necessary medical equipment as well as the requisite medicine so that it would not be an undue hardship on the cancer patients.