Cancer remains a leading cause of mortality in Kerala. Among children, though many types of cancer
are curable today, the treatment is often prolonged and expensive. Patients and their families therefore face a dilemma -- the painful choice of cost versus care. Several families abandon treatment mid-way, which also contributes to the high mortality rate. As per the estimate of Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, there are 800-850 new pediatric cancer patients every year.
Realizing that cancer is curable among children and that there is an urgent need to support families which are `too poor to afford treatment’, the Government of Kerala has introduced the Cancer Suraksha Scheme on 1-11-2008. Under this scheme, children, under 18 years, would be given free treatment for cancer through designated Government hospitals in the state. This scheme is meant to cover the cost of drugs, investigations, procedures, implants etc. for which Government does not provide free treatment and for which other patients have to pay for. This scheme will not cover rent of pay wards, procurement of expensive drugs, investigations etc. which would not be done in the normal course in similar cases.
(a) Children below 18 yrs of age who have been registered for treatment of newly detected cancer from 01.11.08 onwards.
(b) Patients can register only after confirmation to have a malignancy. The biopsy / radiological imaging reports will form the basis for confirmation.
(c) Patients too poor to afford treatment alone will be eligible for assistance under the scheme.
(d) When a patient completes 18 yrs. after commencement of treatment, further assistance under the scheme will be extended for a maximum period of one year only. However, the Governing Body of the KSSM can consider further extension in cases which require special consideration, based on the reports of the concerned doctors and superintendent of the Hospital.
Scheme is not applicable for
1. Children of State Govt/PSU's/ Central Govt employees.
2. Children covered under any medical insurance/medical scheme.
3. Children in pay wards of designated hospitals.
HOSPITALS COVERED UNDER THE SCHEME
1. Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.
2. Government Medical College Thiruvananthapuram.
3. Sree AvitamThirunal (SAT) Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram.
4. Government Medical College Alapuzha.
5. Government Medical College Kottayam.
6. Government Medical College Thrissur.
7. Government Medical College Kozhikode.
8. Co-operative Medical College Pariyaram, Kannur.
9. Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery, Kannur.
10. Government General Hospital, Ernakulam.
11. Institute of Maternal and Child Health, Kozhikode.
12. Govt. Medical College Hospital, Ernakulam.
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
Patients found eligible would be registered under the scheme and a Patient Card would be issued. Registered patients will get free of cost treatment in the designated hospitals. On further verification, if any registered patient is found ineligible for assistance, the assistance would be stopped forthwith.
To provide cashless transactions funds have already been deposited with the superintendents of the hospitals. Patients who are eligible for assistance would receive all the benefit from these hospitals directly without approaching the Mission.
HOW TO APPLY
To know the application process contact, Scheme counselor who is appointed at selected hospitals.