Welcome to the NCG EQAS program in surgical pathology
Quality pathology is an important stepping stone in efficient management of cancer and patients. Since two decades there is burning realization of one standard across the globe for diagnosing and treating patients or evidence based management. The international community has realized it long time ago and several EQAS program have been in place in every country. India is a country where variability is our essence and hence to run a program across the states in the country is a challenging task. Pathology services cover a range of services from biochemistry to histopathology. While to run a quality assurance program for biochemical parameters is relatively uncomplicated, quality assurance in histopathology is likely to be far more complex. Pathology practices in India vary from individuals, institutes and a spate of upcoming industry- owned laboratories. While a large proportion of these practices do have quality systems in place, it is driven by economics. The common international guidelines for reporting are carried out without international quality standards. The worst affected are the pre-analytical variables like fixation and monitoring fixation which is almost impossible in most centers which are dependent on outside sources to provide them with these details. There is presently no forum that can bring these heterogeneous practices on one platform and form an India based guideline.
The National Cancer Grid (NCG) was formed in August 2012 with the mandate of linking cancer centers across India.The initiative, which originally had 14 cancer centers, has rapidly grown now to include 69 major cancer centers, research institutes, patient groups and philanthropic organizations across the country and is amongst the largest cancer networks in the globe. Funded by the Government of India through the Department of Atomic Energy, the NCG has the primary mandate of working towards uniform standards of care across India by adopting evidence-based management guidelines, which are implementable across these centers. The primary aim of the NCG EQAS is to establish guidelines that are implementable across the country irrespective of economics and impart training and education to centers who desire it.
The program director and co-directors will ensure that participants with persistent problems are offered advice and assistance within the purview of the EQAS with the long term goal of achieving uniform standards in cancer pathology. This will be a crucial step towards ensuring that every patient in India gets the same high quality of cancer care regardless of socioeconomic or geographic status.