Gauhati Medical College gets first PET-MRI wing of Northeast

By Express News Service

Cancer treatment in Assam is set to get augmented with the installation of a PET-MRI wing at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital in Guwahati.

It was inaugurated by Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday, who was in Assam as a part of his Northeast tour.

Set up at a cost of Rs 62 crore, this is the first-of-its-kind PET-MRI wing in the Northeast and the fourth to be installed at a government hospital in the country. The machine works faster than PET-CT and is essential for advanced cancer research activities.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state government was implementing a Distributed Cancer Care Model through the Assam Cancer Care Foundation for providing timely and effective treatment to cancer patients.

Under the Distributed Cancer Care Model, 18 cancer hospitals are being set up across the state to create patient-centric cancer institutions to deliver standardized and affordable cancer care closer to the patients’ homes as they will not need to travel outside the state for treatment and reduce out-of-pocket expenses for cancer patients.

“As Assam reports nearly 52,000 new cancer cases every year, the state government signed an MoU in 2018 with Tata Trusts for setting up cancer hospitals where equipment is provided by Tata Trusts and civil construction is done by the state government,” Sarma said.

Honoured to have Hon VP Sri M Venkaiah Nadu inaugurate NE’s first-of-its-kind PET-MRI Wing at State Cancer Institute, GMCH.The Rs 62 cr project is equipped with ‘Time of Flight’ tech; will augment cancer treatment in #NorthEast.@VPSecretariat @jagdishmukhi @keshab_mahanta
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) October 3, 2021
He said construction of the hospitals would be completed by March next year. He also said that free cancer treatment was being provided to the poor and underprivileged by cashing in on the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat and Atal Amrit Abhiyan schemes which cover almost 92% of such patients.

Naidu also inaugurated the Mahabahu Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre.

The old Deputy Commissioner’s (read District Magistrate) bungalow beside the Brahmaputra has been converted into the Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre by the government.

The British annexed Assam in 1826. The post of DC was created for Guwahati in 1839 but the city had no appropriate house at that time to accommodate Captain James Matthie, the first DC. Several sites were surveyed before Barphukanar Tilla on the banks of the Brahmaputra, where cannons used in the Battle of Saraighat lay scattered, was chosen.

Post-independence, it continued to be the DC’s bungalow until 2011. A project to convert it into a heritage museum was later taken up under the Brahmaputra Riverfront Development plan.