Cancer can be diagnosed and treated at various levels in the Government health care system. However, the number of tele-therapy machines in the country is less than the norms of WHO and International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA). While health is a state subject, the Central Government supplements the efforts of the state governments for improving healthcareincluding prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
The Government of India had launched a comprehensive National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke (NPCDCS) in 2010 with focus on three sites of cancer namely breast, cervical and oral Cancer. From 2013-14 onwards, interventions under NPCDCS for prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of Cancer, which can be taken up upto district level, have been brought under theumbrella of National Health Mission.
In addition, the Government of India under “Strengthening of Tertiary Care of Cancer” scheme of NPCDCSwill assist 20 State Cancer Institutes (SCI) and 50 Tertiary Care Cancer Centres (TCCC) in different parts of the country. The maximum assistance inclusive of StateShare for SCI is Rs.120 crores and for TCCC is Rs.45 crores.
The treatment of Cancer patients in various Government Hospitals is either free or subsidized both for the Central and State Government Hospitals. In addition to Cancer diagnosis and treatment by the State Governments Health Institutes, the Central Government Institutions such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Safdurjung Hospital, Dr Ram ManoharLohia Hospital, PGIMER Chandigarh, JIPMER Puducherry, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute,Kolkata, etc. provide facilities for diagnosing and treatment of Cancer.
Oncology in its various aspects has focus in case of new AIIMS and many upgraded institutions under PradhanMantriSwasthyaSurakshaYojna (PMSSY). Moreover, to increase the number of seats in Super speciality course in Medical Oncology, Surgical Oncology and broad speciality course in Radiotherapy, the ratio of number of Post-Graduate (PG) teachers to the number of students to be admitted has been now increased to 1:3 for a Professor subject to a maximum of 6 PG seats per unit per academic year. Setting up of National Cancer Institute at Jhajjar (Haryana) and 2nd campus of Chittranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata has been approved.
The list of medicines specified in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) which are included in the First Schedule of Drug Pricing Control Order (DPCO), 2013 also contain drugs used for the treatment of Cancer. 489 NLEM (drug formulations) medicines for which ceiling prices have been notified under DPCO, 2013, includes 47 anti-Cancer medicines. No person is authorized to sell any such formulation to any consumer at a price exceeding the ceiling price fixed by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) under Ministryof Chemicals & Fertilizers.
Financial assistance to Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients is available under the RashtriyaArogyaNidhi (RAN). Besides this, the Health Minister’s Cancer Patient Fund (HMCPF) within the RashtriyaArogyaNidhi has been set up in 2009 wherein 27 erstwhile Regional Cancer Centres (RCCs) are provided with revolving funds to provide immediate financial assistance upto Rs.2.00 lakh to BPL Cancer patients.