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The government of Kerala is proposing to conduct extensive research on breast cancer and thyroid cancer in the state, the incidence of which has increased at an alarming rate due to unknown reasons.

Teenage girls in the state would receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer, according to the progress report presented by the LDF government on the occasion of the completion of the first year of the second term of the LDF government led by Pinarayi Vijayan.

Adult vaccination, early detection of cancer and the decentralization of cancer care feature prominently in the report. Older people would get a flu shot and a pneumococcal shot to prevent pneumonia. The report speaks of the formulation of a comprehensive program of geriatric care and protection.

Besides strengthening cancer care and treatment in public sector hospitals, insurance coverage would be provided for cancer treatment, according to the report.

The report promises rapid implementation of the Clinical Establishments Act. Steps would be taken to study the problems faced by small and medium sized hospitals in the state’s private health sector, which have been the backbone of health care delivery in the state.

Another important promise of the report is the establishment of biomedical waste management plants in the state modeled on the IMAGE plant run by the Indian Medical Association in Palakkad.

Professional diseases

A committee of experts will be set up to study occupational diseases. Occupational illnesses in the state would be investigated by the health department in conjunction with ESI hospitals and appropriate treatment plans would be developed for occupational illnesses seen in traditional sectors of the state, the report said.

A committee of experts will also study and submit a report on the possibility of granting administrative autonomy to state government medical schools.

A clinical diagnostic technology council will be set up including laboratory, imaging and other technical experts.