“It has long been needed” — Kazan to open children's cancer centre worth 2bn rub in 2 years

8,000 children are battling with cancer in Tatarstan alone

“It has long been needed” — Kazan to open children's cancer centre worth 2bn rub in 2 years
Photo: Maksim Platonov

The construction of the children's centre of oncology, hematology and surgery for 100 beds at the Children's Republican Clinical Hospital (DRKB) in Kazan begins in 2020, Tatarstan Health Minister Marat Sadykov told Realnoe Vremya. According to experts, the region has needed such centre for already a long time — the number of children with cancer grows by 18-20% annually. Meanwhile, the existing department in the DRKB is designed for only 30 beds, while 60-70 children permanently staying there.

Cancer incidence among children is growing

“Two billion one hundred and fifty-two million rubles have been allocated for the construction of the children's centre of oncology, hematology and surgery at the Children's Republican Clinical Hospital (DRKB) in Kazan,” Tatarstan Healthcare Minister Marat Sadykov told Realnoe Vremya. “The financing will be carried out, as usual, within the framework of the Federal targeted programme, in the ratio of 52% — from the federal budget, 48% — from the regional budget. The construction will be carried out in 2020-2021. The centre is to open and receive the first patients at the end of 2021.”

The new medical centre will treat not only little residents of Tatarstan, but it is also planned to receive patients from all over the Volga Federal District, the minister says

The building of the centre will be built next to the DRKB, where the oncohematology department already operates.

Marat Sadykov spoke about the plans to build the children's oncological centre in July. “The need to create such a centre is long overdue, as among the children's population of the republic there is an increase in cancer,” the minister said. “Today, 8,273 children have been diagnosed with cancer in Tatarstan.”

“This centre was needed long ago”

According to the head of the Angela Vavilova Charity Foundation, Vladimir Vavilov, the need to build a children's cancer centre in Tatarstan is long overdue: the existing oncohematology department in the DRKB does not cope with the current flow of patients.”

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“This centre has been long needed. Oncology, unfortunately, is rapidly getting younger. The number of sick children grows by at least 18-20% annually. According to VTSIOM (Russia Public Opinion Research Center — editor’s note), in St. Petersburg alone from 2014 to today, child mortality from cancer has increased 700 times! Imagine how many children need treatment. All over the world, in 80-90% of cases, doctors manage to achieve complete remission, that is, cure cancer,” says Vladimir Vavilin. “I hope that the new centre, which will be built in Kazan, will have a bone marrow transplant department because this is an important area that allows us to defeat this insidious disease. I hope there will be equipment that will enable us not to take our children to Moscow and St. Petersburg for diagnostic procedures. The department existing in the Children's Republican Clinical Hospital has only 30 beds, while there are always 60-70 children who need a hospital stay. The new centre will accommodate one hundred patients, this number is calculated taking into account the prospects of increasing morbidity.”

The new centre will not face a personnel problem

Chairperson of the Public Council under the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Tatarstan Chinzis Makhmutov also positively assesses the initiative to build the centre as the new institution will increase the availability of oncohematological care. At the same time, there is no need to fear that there will be a staff problem in the new centre.”

“It is great that such a centre is going to appear in Tatarstan. We have long talked and dreamed about this. Unfortunately, sick children are there, and it is important that the centre for their treatment was here in Tatarstan because patients and their parents will not have to go to Moscow, to bear the additional transportation costs to pay, etc. Yes, we have the Department of Oncology at the Children's Republican Clinical Hospital, but, as far as I know, there has been an increase in the incidence, so it's good that the centre will also appear. The presence of the centre increases the level of care and the effectiveness of the fight against the disease,” Chingiz Makhmutov believes. “As for staffing, I think there will be no problems in this part. First, the centre is not created from scratch, and we already have specialists who are now working in the Oncology Department. Second, in high-tech clinics, problems with personnel, as a rule, do not happen because for doctors it is an opportunity for professional growth, and they willingly go to work in such institutions. Unfortunately, we have problems with personnel in the primary sector, especially in rural areas.”
By Vitaly Akhmerov, Inna Serova