A total of 100 BPL cancer patients can be treated under the scheme

As many as 37 poor persons from Udupi district are being treated for cancer under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) at the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal.

In a press release issued here on Thursday, District Health and Family Welfare Officer Ramachandra Bairy said that the Karnataka Health Society and the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal signed a one-year agreement for cancer treatment of poor patients on February 4, 2013 under the NPCDCS.

Under the programme, patients living below the poverty line (BPL) from Udupi district, regardless of their age, could take advantage of the programme. However, the programme is open for only 100 beneficiaries on first come first serve basis.

The NPCDCS is being implemented in 100 districts in 21 states including five districts in Karnataka – Udupi, Shimoga, Kolar, Chikmagalur, and Tumkur.

Under the agreement, the Union Government provides Rs. 1 lakh per patient for 100 patients in a year. If the bill exceeded Rs. 1 lakh, it would be footed by the hospital. The Kasturba Hospital had refused to treat cancer patients under the Vajpayee Arogyasri scheme, citing its rigid conditions, in April 2012.

The treatment would be provided only if the patients were referred through the monthly cancer screening camps organised by the Health Department in one of the three taluks – Udupi, Kundapur and Karkala, or if the patients were referred by the District Surgeon. The treatment includes chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

The Health Department has to hold monthly camps for one year to screen cancer patients. The Department has already conducted two camps each in Kundapur and Karkala taluks, and one camp in Udupi taluk.

As many as 196 beneficiaries participated in these camps. Around 35 patients from these camps had been referred to the Kasturba Hospital, while the District Surgeon had referred 44 patients. Of these, 37 patients are now receiving treatment under the NPCDCS – 10 camp patients and 27 referred by the District Surgeon.

The first patient under the programme was treated on March 27, 2013, the release added.

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