New Delhi: The estimated number of cancer cases in the country in 2020 was 13,92,179 and it is projected to increase by 12.8 percent, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed Lok Sabha on Friday citing National Cancer Registry Programme data.
Responding to a question, Mandaviya said patients with cancer are getting treatment at various health facilities, including district hospitals, medical colleges, central institutes like AIIMS and private hospitals.
Relevant data related to patients registered for treatment is maintained by the institutions and hospitals concerned at their own level. Under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN), financial assistance is provided to poor patients belonging to families living below poverty line, suffering from major life threatening diseases for medical treatment at any of the super specialty hospitals/institutes or other government hospitals, Mandaviya said.
Under the Health Minister’s Cancer Patient Fund (a component of RAN), Rs 216. 98 lakh was utilised for 40 beneficiaries as on December 5, 2022, in the 2022-23 fiscal.
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In the previous financial year, Rs 585.05 lakh was used for 64 beneficiaries while in 2020-21, 1,573 lakh was used for 196 patients and in 2019-20, 2,677.08 lakh was utilised for 470 patients, he stated.
The treatment for cancer in government hospitals is either free or highly subsidized for the poor and needy. The central government is also implementing a centrally sponsored scheme, “Strengthening of Tertiary Cancer Care Centres Facilities Scheme”, in order to enhance the facilities for tertiary care of cancer.
Nineteen State Cancer Institutes (SCIs) and 20 Tertiary Cancer Care Centres (TCCCs) have been approved so far under the scheme. There is also focus on developing oncology facilities in its various aspects in case of new AIIMS and many upgraded institutions under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY), the minister said.
Cancer treatment facility has been envisaged in all the 22 AIIMS. These AIIMS have been provided with state-of-art diagnostic, medical and surgical care facilities. Cancer treatment facilities have also been planned in 13 state government medical colleges which have been taken up for upgradation under PMSSY.
Setting up of the National Cancer Institute in Jhajjar (Haryana) and the second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, are also steps to enhance the capacity for treatment of cancer in the country, Mandaviya said.
Treatment of cancer is also available under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). Besides, quality generic medicines are made available at affordable prices to all, under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) in collaboration with the state governments.
Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) Pharmacy stores have been set up in some hospitals and institutions, with an objective to make available cancer drugs at a substantial discount vis-à-vis the maximum retail price, Mandaviya said.