Only 1-2% of the population who need palliative care have access to it: FICCI report

Only 1-2% of the population who need palliative care have access to it: FICCI report

It also shows that while India ranks third in terms of cancer incidence, most states lack an enabling policy to integrate palliative care into the treatment offered to patients.

It also shows that while India ranks third in terms of cancer incidence, most states lack an enabling policy to integrate palliative care into the treatment offered to patients.

Only 1-2% of the population in need of palliative care have access to it in India, compared to a global average of 14%, according to analysis of Ministry of Health data released by the Chambers Federation Health Unit of Indian Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The analysis shows that while India ranks third in terms of cancer incidence in the world, most states in the country do not even have enabling legislation or policy to integrate palliative care into the treatments offered. to cancer patients.

Currently, only three Indian states (Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra) have a palliative care policy. Kerala, Mizoram, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab and Assam report the highest overall crude incidence rates of cancers, above 130 cases per lakh population.

In a global comparison of incidence by organ, the burden of disease for head and neck, breast, cervical and ovarian cancers in India is higher or even equal to that other countries such as China, the United States and the United Kingdom.

According to the report on the state of cancer incidence in the country, the financial burden of cancer treatment is the highest among all diseases, which makes it unaffordable for more than 80% of the population. The cost of a single hospitalization for cancer care is three times that of any other non-communicable disease.

“India’s cancer disease burden continues to be characterized by under-detection. Late-stage detection coupled with suboptimal access to quality cancer treatment at affordable prices has a significant impact on the outcomes of this disease in the country. While incidence rates continue to rise, cancer deaths have remained among the top 5 causes of death in India over the past decade,’ the report states.

He further notes that the incidence of cancer in India is now estimated at 19-20 lakh, while the actual incidence is 1.5-3 times higher than the reported cases as per FICCI study and d ‘Ernst & Young.

The report says the need of the hour then is to train auxiliary nurses and Asha workers to provide counseling to cancer patients. “Additionally, the government should undertake efforts to include palliative care packages in government reimbursement schemes as well as in private insurance schemes,” the study notes.

Response from the Ministry of Health

In its response to Parliament, the Ministry of Health noted that a population-based initiative for the prevention, control and screening of common non-communicable diseases, namely diabetes, hypertension and common cancers, has been deployed to the country as part of the National Health Mission (NHM).

Screening for these common cancers is an integral part of service delivery under Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centers.

Cancer treatment is also available under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). Also, quality generic medicines are made available to all at affordable prices, under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) in collaboration with state governments.

Affordable Drugs and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) Pharmacies have been set up in some hospitals/institutions, with the aim of making cancer drugs available at a substantial discount from the maximum retail price. Under the umbrella program of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN), financial assistance is provided to families living below the poverty line for their treatment, including cancer treatment in public hospitals, the ministry said.

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