Even as the state government has announced relief of Rs 1.50 lakh for cancer patients under its Mukhyamantri Punjab Cancer Raahat Kosh Scheme and one of the biggest camp Mega Cancer Camps,began in 22 districts of Punjab including Ludhianas Civil Hospital on Saturday,there are many loopholes in the scheme which are bringing down all the efforts being put by the government to control cancer.
In the camp which started on Saturday,more than 400 patients were screened free of cost. The government has tied up with Max Hospitals whose team of experts screened the patients along with doctors from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital and Mohandai Oswal Cancer Hospital and doctors from Civil Hospital itself. However,to get benefit under CMs scheme of Rs 1.50 lakh,only three hospitals in Ludhiana district have been recognised through which patients need to get estimated cost of treatment prepared and then apply for the relief fund.
These hospitals are DMCH,CMCH,Mohandai Oswal Cancer Hospital. The estimates will be sent to Civil surgeon office which will further forward it to the Deputy Commissioner after approving the case and then to Chandigarh cancer cell from where funds will be approved and transferred to the hospital.
Not only this,the amount of Rs 1.50 lakh is too less as compared to the cost of cancer treatment and families are spending lakhs from their own pockets. Government is giving funds based on rates in PGI,Chandigarh where cancer surgery is done for Rs 2,000. We are paying Rs 40,000 in private hospital for surgery and government is granting us relief of Rs 2,000 and rest Rs 38,000 we should pay from our own pockets. Was there no better way to make mockery of cancer patients, questioned Balwinder Singh,a patient who came to the camp to enquire about the system.
Meanwhile,Dr Manjit Singh,nodal officer of cancer project in Ludhiana said,Till now we have provided relief amount to more than 600 patients from Ludhiana. DMCH which was earlier expelled from scheme has been re-included as they have tied up with Oswal Hospital for radiotherapy unit.