Cancer, the killer disease, was once considered incurable. However, advances in medical science have helped conquer the disease to a very large extent. It is scientifically proven that paediatric cases of cancer are largely curable, if treated early. Recognising the urgent need to extend financial support to cancer victims from families, who are too poor to afford treatment, the Government of Kerala launched the Cancer Suraksha Scheme on 1 November 2008 for children below the age of 18 who suffer from cancer and belong to such families.
According to an estimate of the Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, there are 800 to 850 new patients in this age group every year. Those eligible are treated free under the scheme, implemented by the Kerala Social Security Mission, in government hospitals designated for the purpose. Counsellors have been posted at these nine hospitals to assess whether applicants are really eligible for the free treatment and to provide other counselling services to patients. The scheme is implemented by the Social Security Mission.
Cancer Suraksha Designated Hospitals
Amount of assistance
The entire cost of treatment, including the cost of investigations, would be borne by the hospitals through the funds provided by the Mission. The ceiling of expenditure per child would be initially Rs 50,000. However, the hospital can incur additional expenditure, based on the report of the committee comprising of the Oncologist/treating doctor, Head of the Radiology Department and the Superintendent, subject to ratification by the Mission.
Mode of assistance
Those patients found eligible would be registered under the scheme and a Patient Card would be issued. Registered patients would be provided treatment free of cost at the designated hospitals. On further verification, if it is found that any registered patient is ineligible for assistance, the assistance would be stopped forthwith.
To provide cashless transactions funds have already been deposited with the superintendents of the hospitals. The patients who are eligible for assistance would receive the benefit from these hospitals directly without approaching the Mission.