90% of oncologist positions are unfilled, and radiation specialists treat patients

More than 90% of medical oncologist positions in state government public health departments are vacant . Radiation oncologists are treating cancer patients in violation of NMC guidelines .

Indore: According to the National Cancer registry survey-2020, more than 90% of medical oncologist positions in state government public health departments are vacant, and radiation oncologists are treating cancer patients in violation of NMC guidelines.In terms of cancer prevalence, the only population-based registry in Madhya Pradesh recorded a crude rate of 83.3 in males and 90.4 in females.The standard incidence rate is the number of new cancer cases per 100,000 population at risk in a year, according to Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang.The advertisement for these positions is updated from time to time.In October 2019, the position of medical oncologists was approved in these hospitals.

The recruitment advertisement for associate professor positions and professor was yet to be published.In the 22 posts in medical oncology, there are six posts for professor, five for associate professor, and the rest for assistant professor, according to Superintendent Government Cancer Hospital Indore, Dr. Ramesh Arya.The medical oncologist is the one who diagnoses the cancer patient and decides about chemotherapy.Dr Arya explained that the radiation oncologist performs radiation therapy and surgery oncology performs surgery.

In the accepted scheme, the situation of a cancer patient is evaluated by a tumor board, where all these experts, along with pathologists, are members who designate the course of care for a cancer patient in hospital.However, in the case of health facilities in the state, the bulk of them are lacking tumour boards, including in Indore, where radiation oncologist is monitoring the patients and even deciding chemotherapy doses.