Leaders in comprehensive cancer treatment, Dharamshila is a healthcare giant to reckon with. Dr Sandeep Chatrath, CEO, Dharamshila Hospital shares his vision, milestones and mission with Shahid Akhter, ENN
Please tell us about the genesis of Dharamshila Hospital?
The year 1990 witnessed the foundation of North Indias first comprehensive cancer care centre. The effort was initiated by a group of concerned relatives and friends of cancer patients who felt the need to provide complete cancer treatment under one
roof. A non-government voluntary organization – Dharamshila Cancer Foundation and Research Centre (DCFRC) was dedicated to the cause of making cancer treatment available, accessible and affordable. The initial phase took off with 100 beds in 1994 and the hospital land area was 8097 square metres. By 2006 the hospital bed capacity had expanded to 300 and today the hospital is spread across 3.5 acres of land.
Around 1994, the first mammography machine was installed and the following year Leukaemia wing was introduced along with blood bank with blood cell separator. Spiral CT scanner was installed in 1998 and the next year saw the inauguration of Nuclear Medicine Dept and TMT.
In 2001 we installed LOGIQ 500 PRO “ the most advanced ultrasound machine with colour Doppler capability. The following year, we installed state-of-the-art digital, dual energy, Linear Accelerator and Eclips 3D treatment planning system.In 2003 we
installed high speed NXI digital dual slice CT Scanner.
By the time we celebrated our tenth anniversary, we started upgrading our existing structure. For instance, the blood bank saw the induction of Heraeus deep freeze and cold room facility with storage capacity of 8000 FFP units and 2000 blood unit. Simultaneously, Endoscopy Suite was revamped with state-of-the-art video endoscopes, video colonoscope and colposcope.
The year 2005 saw the construction of a new hospital building. In 2007
the name of Dharamshila Cancer Hos-pital And Research Centre (DCHRC)was changed to Dharamshila Hospital and Research Centre (DHRC).
* Dharamshila is the first and the only cancer hospital of India accredited by NABH
* Dharamshila Labs are accredited by NABL
* Dharamshila BMT Centre is Indias first and only world class facility for blood and Marrow stem cell transplantation for patients without fully matched family donor
With so much of pioneering steps, where does DHRC stand today?
Gradually, other allied services like Neurosurgery, Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Dental and Faciomaxillary Surgery, Orthopaedics, Gastroenterology, Nephrology and Urology etc were added. This was done in keeping with the healthcare needs of the community.
Simultaneously we strengthened the preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, palliative and support services under one roof. Moreover, we continue to add cutting edge technologies and follow the international treatment protocols to ensure the best outcomes by way of care and
We strive for the highest quality standards of treatment, patient satisfaction and safety. Adding quality to life and improving cure rates are our hallmark. All this has helped us to enhance our referral base and today we have patients from India and neighbouring countries.
What technological advancements have been introduced lately ?
We offer Third Generation Radiation Technology i.e. Elekta Synergy VMAT with IMRT, IGRT, SBRT and SRS / SRT and Respiratory Gating Capabilities and best Treatment Planning systems like Monaco, CMSxi0, ERGO++ and Plato.
Elekta Synergy Linear Accelerator with triple photon and seven electrons energies is the latest technology that delivers targeted and precise radiation with the help of highly sophisticated software. It delivers personalized, safe, efficient and high quality radiation with enhanced dose conformance as per the tumour size, shape and pathology. With this new technology, total integral radiation dose has been reduced to one tenth and treatment time to only 2 – 3 minutes as against 30 minutes with older technology. This leads to higher tumour control probability, reduced probability of secondary tumours and minimal side effects.
Besides all associated diseases of cancer patients, DHRC seem to have forayed into other specialities as well?
Besides cancer care services, we have proliferated into diagnostic services and have also added a wide range of multi speciality services. We have also achieved a pioneering step by commissioning Dharamshila BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) Centre with 21 beds.
We offer BMT as a treatment option for a variety of congenital and acquired disorders of children and young adults, eg Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma, Thalassemia, Aplastic anaemia, etc.
Our in-house stem cell processing and BMT Lab covers a wide range of diagnostics like flow Cytometry, molecular diagnosis, etc.
What is DHRCs role in mentoring the next generation in healthcare?
We contribute to the pool of trained and skilled manpower in healthcare. We were first in India to start three years full time doctorate course – DNB Medical Oncology in 2002, DNB Surgical Oncology in 2003 and Post Basic Diploma in Oncology Nursing in 2010. In 2004, we enrolled the first batch of studentsin Radiation Oncology.
Besides fellowship programmes in head and neck Oncology and Oncopathology, we also have diploma courses in medical technology in various verticals like medical laboratory technology, X-Ray and imaging technology and operation theatre technology.
DHRC is one of the best cancer hospitals in India. How about the influx of patients from neighbouring countries?
In harmony with our vision to fight cancer and win the battle against cancer, we have become leaders in comprehensive cancer treatment and this draws a lot of patient from around the world, not just neighbouring countries. We help to detect cancer at an early stage and thus save time, money and most importantly life of a patient, which has attracted patients from across the globe, not only for cancer but also for other specialities and super specialities as well.