Director's Message

Great institutions are like great personalities – creative, inspiring, achievers of the impossible – but above all, they are also phenomenal storytellers, and their stories mean different things to different people. You think of them, and you wonder what makes them tick. Tata Memorial Centre is a great institution and, while not perfect, is an example of what India can achieve in the new world. A world where India not only aspires but is determined to be a developed nation. Determined to deliver the health and healthcare that its citizens deserve.

Tata Memorial Centre, under the guidance and support of the Department of Atomic Energy, is resolved to be a part of this era-defining transformation – living Gandhiji’s immortal exhortation to be the change that we wish to see. In the past 15 years, it has transformed itself from a two-hospital Mumbai-based organization to an eleven-hospital institution (construction about to begin in two) in seven states of India, under the leadership of my immediate predecessor, Dr Rajendra Badwe, and successive Chairmen of the Atomic Energy Commission - Dr Anil Kakodkar, Dr Srikumar Banerjee, Dr Ratan Kumar Sinha, Dr Sekhar Basu, Shri K.N. Vyas, and now, Dr Ajit Kumar Mohanty. It is a role model for the delivery of evidence-based cancer care to all sections of society. It registers, among all its hospitals, about 120,000 new cancer patients every year. It has made a substantial impact in producing trained human resources, who are vital for delivering good-quality cancer care at scale in India. Some of the most impactful clinical and public health research, which has defined practice not only in India but worldwide, has emanated from TMC. That so much has been accomplished is not only a testament to the vision of the leaders but also to the dedication and passion of all staff members of TMC. Having the opportunity to serve this institution as its Director is the singular honour and privilege of my career.

Much remains to be done. Cancer incidence in India continues to rise, projected, by a GLOBOCAN estimate, to increase from the current annual 1.3 million to over two million annually in the next 15 years. Although income and human development levels will continue to increase in India, a substantial portion of the increased cancer burden will fall on the less privileged sections of society. The public healthcare delivery system will have to scale up commensurately in quality and quantity - infrastructure and human resources - to realize our shared vision of being a developed nation in all meanings of that term. To achieve good outcomes, cancer requires a substantial component of sophisticated multidisciplinary care. It also requires investment in equipment and its maintenance, most notably radiotherapy and imaging.

TMC has consistently advocated for the hub-and-spoke model for cancer care delivery in India, with public sector hubs-and-spokes so geographically distributed that patients receive healthcare close to their homes. Tata Memorial Centre and the Department of Atomic Energy have already contributed to the development of required resources with rapid expansion in the past ten years. They have done more – provided proof that systems can be created in challenging circumstances, in makeshift hospitals, without the full complement of manpower, while projects get completed and commissioned. The full realization of the hub-and-spoke model, requiring 30-40 multidisciplinary comprehensive cancer care hubs, will have to be accomplished through central and state departments of health, which already have a network of public health institutions across India. They need to be strengthened, upgraded, and empowered to be the hubs of cancer care. TMC will continue to provide a model that other institutions can emulate.

TMC now sees itself, with some justification, not only as a network of cancer hospitals but also as the organizer of a vast societal project. However, to remain worthy of continued emulation, it will have to remain steadfast to its original mission – delivering the highest levels of excellence in service, education, and research in its hospitals. Patients and families who come to TMC in the most challenging time of their lives - who are its raison d'être - should feel and know that the institution cares for them - and does the best it can for them. This is the most significant challenge for TMC – to remain an institution of cancer care excellence while contributing to national discourse, policy, and action. Attaining and maintaining excellence is not a trivial endeavour. It requires constant striving, nurturing, and responsiveness to feedback. TMC will keep abreast of technological and scientific advances as they happen - and contribute its own. It will learn from and collaborate with other institutions, imbibing the best ideas and practices. It will continue to remind itself that institutional humility is as essential as personal humility – to change, adapt and grow.

TMC is a storied institution whose eminence has been nurtured by generations of individuals since its birth in 1941. If we dare to see further, it is by standing on the shoulders of these giants. On behalf of the Tata Memorial Centre family, I am deeply grateful for the continuous support of our Government, DAE, community, and other partners, which enables us to move forward in our mission. We are not perfect and do not claim it – we do claim that we will strive to our fullest towards a world where cancer no longer means a life interrupted

To those who trust us with their lives – we bow in gratitude!

Dr Sudeep Gupta,MD, DM
Professor of Medical Oncology
Director, Tata Memorial Centre


टाटा स्मारक अस्पताल
डॉ. बोर्जेस मार्ग, परेल, मुंबई-400 012 भारत
दूरभाष: +91-22- 24177000, 24146750 - 55
फ़ैक्स : +91-22-24146937
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