The Health Ministry is studying a proposal to include cancer treatment under the Ayushman Bharat Prime Minister Jana Arogya Yojana (JAY), the Union Health Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey said on Saturday.
Replying to a question on why cancer was not included in the scheme, Choubey told reporters here that the Centre was providing three types of cancer treatment at present under a different scheme, and was now studying the proposal to include the deadly disease under JAY.
To a question on making the nation cancer-free, Choubey who was to inaugurate the campaign War Against Cancer at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, said non-communicable diseases have become a challenge across the world.
The Prime Minister had declared that the country wanted to become free of non-communicable disease by 2030 and the health ministry would work towards achieving the target, he said.
Elaborating on JAY, he said that already more than 50 lakh have benefited and four crore golden cards issued, with 16,000 empaneled hospitals across the nation.
Lauding the medical system in Tamil Nadu, Choubey said the ministry has taken up upgradation of 75 medical colleges.
In the first phase, Salem Medical College was being upgraded at a cost of Rs. 100 crore, Madurai in the second phase with Rs. 125 crore and Thanjavur Medical College in the third phase with Rs. 240 crore.
Stating that the Centre has sanctioned Rs. 1,264 crore for setting up AIIMS in the state, works on which were expected to completed by 2022, he said the government proposes to increase the medical seats from the present 42,000 to one lakh by another five years.
To another question on declaring cow urine as a medicine, the minister said it has lot of medicinal values and the ministry, along with Ayush, would work out a plan.
Earlier, inaugurating a free paediatric oncology ward in the hospital, Choubey said that he is working out on a scheme by which treatment, along with doctors, would be brought to the doorstep of the patient.
There was also plan to set up 1.5 lakh wellness centres across the country by 2022.
This would also help to boost medical tourism, as there would be traditional practices like yoga, naturopathy and accupressure, attracting foreign visitors.
Choubey also said the ministry, in collaboration with IIT Madras and Indian Council of Medical Research, was developing cancer genome database to help identify bio-markers specific to Indian population.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)