The cost of treatment of Cancer depends on various factors including, inter alia, the stage of diagnosis, type and site of cancer, type of treatment etc.
The treatment of Cancer in many of State and Centre Government institutions is free for BPL patients and subsidized for others. The Central Government supplements the efforts of the State Governments to prevent and control cancer. Some of the steps taken by Central Government are as follows:
(i) Implementation of National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) upto district hospital level. Further, the guidelines for population level screening of common cancer viz. Cervix, Breast and Oral have been released to the State Governments for implementation.
(ii) To enhance the facilities for tertiary care of cancer, the Central Government is implementing a Tertiary Care Cancer Centre Scheme to support the setting up of State Cancer Institutes (SCI) and Tertiary Care Cancer Centres (TCCC) in different parts of the country. 13 TCCCs and 11 SCIs are approved till date.
(iii) Supporting Cancer care under new AIIMS and State Government Medical Colleges being upgraded under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY).
(iv) Setting up of 2nd campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata and setting up of National Cancer Institute (NCI), Jhajjar as part of second campus of AIIMS, New Delhi has been approved.
(v) The Government is providing financial assistance to patients living below poverty line for life threatening diseases under the schemes such as Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN), Health Minister’s Cancer Patient Fund (HMCPF), State Illness Assistance Fund (SIAF) and Health Minister’s Discretionary Grant (HMDG).
(vi) Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlets have been opened at 41 Institutions/Hospitals with an objective to make available Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases drugs and implants at discounted prices to the patients. Jan Aushadhi stores are set up by Department of Pharmaceuticals to provide generic drugs at affordable prices.
(vii) 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 for which ceiling prices have been fixed.
The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Anupriya Patel stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.