Advanced cancer treatment to be installed in Bhutan

Elekta (EKTA-B.ST) announced today that it has been chosen to deliver the first ever radiation therapy system to the Kingdom of Bhutan. The National Referral Hospital, the largest hospital in the Kingdom, will install an Elekta Compact™ linear accelerator during August, 2017.

In modernizing the public health services that it offers its citizens for free, the government of Bhutan will introduce radiation therapy as an essential form of cancer treatment. Today, most of Bhutan’s 4,000-5,000 people who are diagnosed with cancer need to travel to Kolkata, India for oncology care.

Dr. Viqar Syed, MD (Radiation Oncology), Managing Director of Pinnacle Cancer Centres International, and Dr. S.S. Ray, a Medical Oncologist in Kolkata, were instrumental in the public-private partnership agreement to supply The National Referral Hospital with the Compact system. Dr. Syed says: “The Pinnacle Cancer Centres International has an exemplary leadership of 25 oncologists that will provide the latest oncology education to the Bhutanese doctors and staff.” He adds: “Elekta Compact is ideal as a cost-effective introduction to radiation therapy. And with its modular design, the hospital will be able to easily add new functions and features as it expands.”

Manikandan Bala, Managing Director for Elekta in India says: “We are honored that Bhutan’s Ministry of Health has selected our Elekta Compact linear accelerator. Offering advanced radiation treatment at the National Referral Hospital will in itself improve the quality of life of cancer patients. And with Compact’s flexibility and dependability, the hospital will meet the government’s guarantee of offering affordable and modern health care.”

The government had stringent requirements when looking for a supplier and device, and Elekta Compact successfully met its environmental impact assessment. Compact is simple to operate, robust and reliable, allowing more patients to be treated quickly and effectively.

The Lancet Oncology Commission states in its report, Expanding global access to radiotherapy1, that the economic benefits of investment in radiotherapy are very substantial. Nevertheless, worldwide access to radiotherapy is unacceptably low. The Kingdom of Bhutan is another example of how Elekta is successfully fulfilling its aim to make radiation therapy accessible to more people in low-income and middle-income countries.

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