HYDERABAD, India, Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop an educational partnership with Apollo Hospitals Group, the largest hospital chain in India, to introduce a program that will help train radiation technologists in the country. The MoU was signed by Dr. K. Prabakar, chief executive officer of Apollo Knowledge, and Ashok Kakkar, Varian's India managing director, in Hyderabad.
In the first radiotherapy partnership of its kind between industry and a care provider in India, Varian intends to deploy its Access to Care program by leveraging the existing Apollo Knowledge network that comprises of several educational entities in the healthcare space in India. Access to Care is an educational program that seeks to bridge the gap between the growing need for modern radiotherapy treatment machines in developing countries and the lack of trained personnel to operate them.
"The world is seeing an alarming increase in the cancer burden and it is important that the healthcare industry stakeholders join hands to ensure that we have the required number of skilled clinicians," said Dr. Prabakar. "I am convinced that this collaboration is the right step forward in this direction, bearing in mind the respective strengths of Apollo and Varian."
"This program will not only enhance the skills and competencies of the students but contribute towards addressing the lack of skilled radiotherapy professionals in India," said Ashok Kakkar. "By working closely with Apollo's highly-effective educational arm, Apollo Knowledge, we believe we can start to make a significant difference in this area."
The program aims to provide skilled training for radiation therapists and medical physicists. Students will be trained using web-based content from international universities and advanced simulation tools that reproduce a complete radiotherapy center clinical workflow. Training emphasises the acquisition of skills to enhance the employability of the student as well as the quality and safety of radiotherapy treatments.
Commenting on the collaboration, Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of Apollo group, said, "It's important that skilled medical professionals find their way into primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare across the length and breadth of the country. Apollo Knowledge is glad to collaborate with Varian to facilitate training of radiotherapy professionals as a step towards offering timely yet advanced care to cancer patients in India."
India is severely under-equipped when it comes to radiotherapy treatment machines. A country of more than one billion people is served by about 400 machines. More than two million new cancer cases are detected each year in India. The Indian government has made cancer care a key focus area and having a well-skilled radiotherapy workforce is vital to the roll out of more modern treatment equipment.
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, focuses energy on saving lives by equipping the world with advanced technology for fighting cancer and for x-ray imaging. The company is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiation. The company provides comprehensive solutions for radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is also a premier supplier of x-ray imaging components, including tubes, digital detectors, and image processing software and workstations for use in medical, scientific, and industrial settings, as well as for security and non-destructive testing. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 7,000 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.
About Apollo Hospitals
In 1983, Dr. Prathap Reddy launched India's first corporate hospital - Apollo Hospitals in Chennai. Over the years Apollo Hospitals has established itself as home to the largest cardiac practice in India with over 160,000 cardiac surgeries. Apollo Hospitals is also the world's largest private cancer care provider and runs the world's leading solid organ transplant program having conducted over 1,500 solid organ transplants in 2014-15 alone. For more than 28 years, the Apollo Hospitals Group has maintained leadership in medical innovation, world-class clinical services and cutting-edge technology. Apollo hospitals are consistently ranked amongst the best hospitals globally for advanced medical services and research.
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