New Delhi [India], June 27 (ANI): The Parliamentary Committee on Health and Family Welfare will meet on Monday evening to discuss 'Affordability of Cancer Treatment' with Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
The committee will hold the meeting at around 3 pm inside Parliament premises.
In the meeting, the committee will "hear the views of Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare on the subject 'Affordability of Cancer Treatment'."The meeting is significant as the cancer burden in India is a matter of concern with cases increasing over the last two decades, and this trend is expected to grow more rapidly in the future due to many reasons, including demographic (mainly change in the age structure of the population) and epidemiological transition (from communicable to non-communicable), and increased case detection.
In India cancer is the leading cause of death, with 7.84 lakh deaths recorded in 2018, and 13.92 lakh cases reported in 2020, according to World Health Organization.
While the growing burden of cancer cases in the country is a cause for concern for many oncologists, the varying cost of cancer care has made public health experts apprehensive.
As the cost break-up shows, cancer is an expensive illness to manage. Besides, screening for early detection, diagnostics and treatment, it involves post-treatment care and rehabilitation.
At the national level, the average total cancer care expenditure was around Rs 1,16,218, says an expert. In private hospitals, the total cost of cancer care was estimated to be Rs 1,41,774, whereas it was comparatively lower at Rs 72,092 in public hospitals. The state-wise pattern shows that the overall cost of cancer care in India varies from Rs 74,699 in Odisha to Rs 2,39,974 in the state of Jharkhand. In eight states, namely, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana, the overall cost of cancer treatment was under Rs 1 lakh. However, cancer patients spent between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh on treatment in Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. In JammuKashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand, cancer treatment cost over Rs 1.5 lakh.
An important aspect that needs to be highlighted is the percentage share of medical and non-medical expenditure. About 90 per cent of the total cancer care expenses are related to medical care, which includes expenses on doctors' consultancy, medicines, diagnostic tests, bed charges, and other medical services like blood transfusions and oxygen supplementation. The residual 10 per cent is on non-medical heads, which includes transportation, food, escort and transport for other family members.
The state-wise pattern suggests that in two states, namely Chhattisgarh and Bihar, non-medical expenses contributed to over 20 per cent of all cancer expenditure, whereas, in nine states--Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir, over 10 per cent of the expenses were on non-medical services. (ANI)