There is a greater India beyond our cities.
Today, there is a vast geographic divide between urban centres and the rest of the country in terms of access to even the most basic medical care, let alone specialised diagnosis and treatment. This is especially true when it comes to cancer, one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. In large areas of the country, denial about the disease runs rampant; diagnosis is delayed owing to lack of skill and facilities; and countless people tragically lose their lives.
In Maharashtra alone, which has the second highest incidence of cancer in the country, men, women and the smallest of children have little choice but to travel to large cities for surgery and treatment in the face of the greatest financial and logistic odds. And even when they do make it to a facility with the ability to treat them, affordability often becomes an acute concern.
What good, then, is medical progress if it is the privilege of a few, rather than the prerogative of us all? After all, cancer doesn't discriminate - and nor should we.
With this in mind, in August 2016, we announced a life-affirming initiative to bridge the abyss between our cities and the hinterland by establishing 18 radiation, chemotherapy and diagnostic centres in Tier II and III towns in Western India.
Now, with our first three centres - in Akola, Solapur and Gondia - ready to open their doors, we stand at the threshold of a new dawn for cancer care.
These centres will not be mere clinical outposts but equipped with state-of-the-art technology, some of which is not even available in many Indian metros. And there will be no half-measures or shortcuts - only the comprehensive care that defines Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai, which has consistently broken new ground with its multidisciplinary approach, cutting-edge technology, dedicated specialists and world-class outcomes. Reliance Hospital in Navi Mumbai, being the extension of our healthcare footprint, offers the same commitment, coupled with best-in-class talent and technology.
Indeed, we believe that with ability comes responsibility. And we are proud to assume this responsibility to deliver world-class cancer care to our communities. Going forward, we will leverage all our ability and expertise to overcome the challenges of geography, economics and demography to 'Contain, Combat and Conquer Cancer'. For us, this is not just a slogan but a solemn pledge - and we dedicate ourselves to this goal.
Tina Anil Ambani
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