Establishment of breast cancer screening centres faces delay.

PESHAWAR -- The establishment of screening centres for early diagnosis of breast cancer is facing delay because the relevant authorities are yet to examine and send the PC-I of the project to department concerned, according to sources.

The health department has decided to establish seven screening centres in the province for detection of breast cancer. The government has also approved Rs1 billion in the current Annual Development Programme for setting up the screening centres at the divisional level.

The planned establishment of the screening centres is meant to increase detection rate of breast cancer but the PC-I of the project has been lying at health secretariat for the last two months, according to physicians at teaching hospitals.

Health Secretary Amer Sultan Tareen told Dawn that in the initial PC-I, only equipments were demanded but now dedicated staff was also included in it to ensure screening of maximum people. 'We require dedicated staff,' he added.

PC-I of project not sent to relevant dept despite lapse of two months

He said that in the absence of skeleton staff, the machines were supposed to be given to employees as an additional charge that would have been cause of discontinuity of screening process.

'A new PC-I including dedicated staffers is being sent to planning and development department to ensure that these equipments are fully utilised for screening maximum number of people. The government is according priority to treatment of all cancers, especially breast cancer, which is most common among women,' said the health secretary.

Physicians at the hospitals want the health department to dispatch the new PC-I to planning and development department for approval and initiate procurement of equipments for the centres.

Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra recently announced at a function that seven screening centres were being established in the province to minimise quantum of breast cancer among women by early diagnosis and swift treatment.

Doctors told Dawn that it was commendable in view of surge in cancer cases but the PC-I was yet to be examined and sent to the relevant department. 'It has delayed screening programme because after go-ahead by planning and development department, the purchase of machines and equipment will take months,' they added.

They said that establishment of screening centres in seven selected health...

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