India has opened seven new cancer hospitals in the state of Assam in a bid to boost healthcare capabilities in the north-eastern part of the country.

The facilities were inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event in Dibrugarh. Governor of Assam Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma, industrialist Ratan Tata and other officials were also present.

The new hospitals are located at Dibrugarh, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Darrang, Tezpur, Lakhimpur, and Jorhat.

Additionally, Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone of seven additional cancer hospitals which will be built during the second phase of the project. These seven hospitals will be located at Dhubri, Nalbari, Goalpara, Nagaon, Sivasagar, Tinsukia and Golaghat.

At the event, Modi said that the new hospitals will augment cancer care services in Northeast as well as South Asia.

He was quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying: “Such widespread and specialised cancer care network in Assam is needed as the state and rest of northeast has been witnessing a large number of cancer cases.”

Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF), a joint venture of the Government of Assam and Tata Trusts, will run the hospitals.

Overall, the cancer care network will include 17 hospitals spread across the state.

Under Phase I, ten hospitals will be delivered. Seven hospitals were inaugurated, while the other three are currently under different stages of construction.

Commenting on the opening of new hospitals, Tata Trusts’ chairman Ratan Tata said: “Today is a very important day in the history of the state of Assam. It will take Assam to a higher level in terms of care and treatment of cancer that has not been experienced by other states in the country.”