Speaking to reporters here recently, Director of CMC Vellore Dr Sunil Chandy said the hospital is visited mostly by people from the northeastern region and especially from Meghalaya.
“People from here bear the difficulty to travel 2,500 km by air and train for treatment at the hospital. They have faith in the healthcare system there and also because of the low cost of treatment,” he said.
Dr Thomas Samuel Ram, Council Secretary of CEM Vellore, said most of the patients from Meghalaya visit the hospital to get treatment for mouth cancer and the radiation department there receives around 2,000 new patients and approximately 15-20 patients from the region every day.
“Many of these patients visit the hospital to get treatment for ‘oral cancer’ as we know that several people from the region are consuming betel nuts (kwai) that can ultimately lead to food pipe cancer, stomach cancer etc,” he said.
He cited that the increasing number of cancer patients is due to the lifestyle of people as many indulge in smoking, chewing betel nut and pan.
Lack of state of the art medical facilties in the State has led people to travel down south for want of better treatment.