Punjab Govt. Initiative brings outstanding results in 2 years
In December 2013 when Mukh Mantri Punjab Cancer Rahat Kosh Scheme (MMPCRKS) was announced, it came as a welcome relief for hundreds of cancer patients in the state. The cancer patients were eligible for cashless treatment at 16 empanelled hospitals in Punjab.
Taking serious note of alarming increase in cancer cases, the state government is committed to make Punjab a cancer-free state. The government is also working tirelessly on taking a 360 degree view of the grave problem and banning the manufacture, import and use of pesticides is one such step in this direction, besides also educating the farmers about harmful effects of certain pesticides and also making them aware of the right ones.
Bringing Smiles to 22,744 Families
The scheme, spearheaded by the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was implemented from January 2014. It has yielded outstanding results bringing smiles on the faces of 22, 744 patients who were treated under the scheme. The government extended financial assistance to the tune of Rs 277 crores to the beneficiaries.
The scheme provides for Rs 1.5 lakh relief to each cancer patient in the empanelled hospitals. The scheme is effective as it gives the patient to get the best treatment in some of the prominent private hospitals of the state as well, besides the government hospitals also a part of the empanelment.
To ensure transparency, the scheme is available only to residents of Punjab who have to produce adequate evidence to prove their identity and authentication of proof of their residence.
Concerned over ensuring quality treatment to cancer patients in the state, the Punjab government had in July 2013 issued directions to all the empanelled hospitals to ensure that 140 cancer treatment drugs were available at subsidized rates, failing which would invite action against them.
Cancer Treatment to match Global Standards
The Punjab government had instructed the empaneled hospitals to display names of all such drugs at OPDs and stores selling these medicines. The government has acted responsibly in its battle against cancer, and having set up a 100-bed advanced Cancer Diagnostic Treatment and Research Centre at Bathinda, it brought the latest technology in cancer treatment under one roof.
The government in its commitment to provide the most advanced treatment at competitive rates brought down radiotherapy cost much less than what is being offered at private hospitals. The Centre offers the treatment at an unbelievable cost of Rs 3000 to 10,000, while a private hospital for the same treatment charges nothing less than about a lakh.
The Center boasts of the best facility available since the Centre has the latest equipment in radiotherapy, including COBALT and LINAC, revolutionary in cancer treatment, and that too at affordable rates. The Centre spread over an area of 6 acres and built at a cost of Rs 60 crores, also offered surgery.
Much-Needed Relief for Malwa Region
In an exceptional move by the SAD government, a MoU with Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai was signed for setting up Homi Bhaba Cancer Hospital (HBCH) at Sangrur within the premises of the local Civil Hospital. This brought the much needed relief to the people of Malwa region who would otherwise have to travel on trains to get cancer treatment in adjoining states.
The government is also in the process of setting up a 200-bed Cancer Research Centre meeting international standards at New Chandigarh, an upcoming ultra-modern township close to the state capital. A sum of Rs 450 crore has been allocated for the said project.