The state Government of Assam in India has launched a new State Cancer Institute (SCI), established at a total cost of Rs3.95bn ($47.6m), in Guwahati. 

Inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the five-storey SCI is equipped with operating theatres, bone marrow transplant facilities, intensive care units, a blood bank, a catheterisation laboratory, as well as high dependency units.  

The SCI, which can serve up to 350 in patients, will provide comprehensive medical services, including radiation, chemotherapy, surgical and robotic surgery, nuclear medicine, bone marrow transplant, as well as academic and research opportunities. 

Other facilities available at this centre include CT, MRI, digital X-ray, endoscopy, mammography, among others.  

Alongside the launch of SCI, Sarma also opened a renovated blood centre and an extended emergency department at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). 

Sarma emphasised that the new facilities and efforts align with the state government’s commitment to providing advanced and accessible healthcare services in the region.  

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The Economic Times quoted Sarma as saying: “Two State Cancer Institutes in Guwahati and Silchar have already been dedicated to the service of the people and the remaining seven are planned to be completed over 2025 and 2026. With an investment over Rs36bn, the state government is building a world-class cancer care network in Assam.” 

In the future, Sarma said that the state government is now planning to introduce Proton Beam Therapy in Assam for targeted cancer treatment and the state’s ambition to become a hub for medical tourism with the support of the central government.  

This initiative aims to serve patients not only from the Northeast but also from Southeast Asian countries. 

Additionally, Sarma dedicated a PET-CT machine at the B Baruah Cancer Centre in Guwahati, which had a project cost of Rs131.4m, to benefit around 2,000 patients annually for the diagnosis, staging, and evaluation of treatment responses for various cancers. 

In April 2023, the first All Indian Institute of Medical Science in the north-east region of India opened in Guwahati, Assam.