Heath Protection Mission will cover cancer treatment, not transplants

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Tuberculosis check-up
Tuberculosis check-up

It will cover all life saving procedures, says health secretary Preeti Sudan

Standard cancer treatment protocols such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy will be covered under the National Health Protection Scheme but not organ transplants.

The Rs 5 lakh annual health cover scheme for 10.74 crore families is expected to roll out by October.

Replying to a question about the procedures that will be covered under NHPM, health secretary Preeti Sudan said: “All life saving procedures will be covered, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy. But for now In the first phase, organ transplants will not be covered.”

More than 80% of the expenditure is out of pocket (OOP). Out of pocket (OOP) expenditure in India is over 60% which leads to nearly 6 million families getting into poverty due to catastrophic health expenditures.

Organ transplants are extremely expensive procedures – a liver transplant costs upward of Rs 20 lakh and a kidney transplant in the range of Rs 4-5 lakh. It is the last recourse for people suffering from chronic kidney disease. According to the estimates of the health ministry, every year about 2.2 lakh new patients of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) get added in India. That is why the Centre had two years launched a National Dialysis Programme.

NHPM will be a cashless paperless transaction for all beneficiaries.

The different categories of people eligible for NHPM in rural areas include families having only one room with kucha walls and kucha roof, families having no adult member between age 16 to 59, SC/ST households; and landless households deriving major part of their income from manual casual labour. For urban areas, 11 defined occupational categories are entitled under the scheme.

In his statement health minister J P Nadda said that NHPM is the first step towards universal health coverage.

“This will avoid overcrowding and improve quality of care at secondary and tertiary facilities and provide universal health coverage and make services equitable, affordable and accessible. All public hospitals in the States implementing Ayushman Bharat-NHPM, will be deemed empanelled for the scheme. As for private hospitals, they will be empanelled online based on defined criteria,” Nadda added.

According to government data, in-patient hospitalization expenditure in India has increased nearly 300% in the last ten years. (NSSO 2015). More than 80% of the expenditure is out of pocket (OOP). Out of pocket (OOP) expenditure in India is over 60% which leads to nearly 6 million families getting into poverty due to catastrophic health expenditures.