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Tata Medical Center raising Rs 200 cr for poor cancer patients

KOLKATA: The Tata Medical Center here is raising around Rs 200 crore as donation from corporate houses, industrialists and with help of Bollywood celebrities for an upgrade to provide free or subsidised treatment for poor cancer patients. 

Half of the beds would be available free or at subsidised rates for poor people since the cost of cancer treatment is too expensive, hospital director Dr Mammen Chandy told reporters here today. 

The hospital sprawling over 13 acre at Rajarahat on the outskirts of the city, would be adding around 250 beds to increase the total number to around 400 under the phase-II expansion drive. 

Director (Donor Relationships) Geeta Gopalakrishnan, said the hospital was unable to meet the demands of cancer patients from the eastern region as it received around 600 new patients every day. 

Among corporate houses, the 
Indian Oil CorporationBSE 0.54 % has donated Rs 66 crore, while Biocon's Kiran Majumdar Shaw has promised to donate Rs 1 crore every year. 

They were also organising fund raisers in India and abroad involving Bollywood celebrities. 

To provide accommodation to cancer patients coming from outside Kolkata, the hospital was constructing 'Premashraya' on a one acre plot to house around 400 people. 

It would be ready by June next year, Chandy said. Tata Translational Cancer Research Centre (TTCRC) is also being constructed on two acre land costing Rs 60 crore. This would create an interactive environment for clinicians, scientists and the industry to work together to help cancer patients, Chandy said. 

Employing around 20 scientists, the research centre would be ready in the next three years, he said. 

Inaugurated by 
Ratan Tata in 2011, the hospital is a philanthropic initiative aimed specifically at helping cancer patients from the eastern and northeastern states and also from Bangladesh and Bhutan. 

"About 5 per cent of our patients are from Bangladesh and Bhutan," the hospital's director said.