Kathmandu, May 10
The Ministry of Health has enforced cancer protocol, which is expected to bring uniformity in the treatment of cancer and effective use of government’s aid to cancer patients.
Minister for Health Gagan Kumar Thapa ordered enforcement of the cancer protocol from May 8, the day a team of experts submitted its report after an eight-month study and discussions on the issue. Thapa told THT that the cancer protocol would also help lower the cost of treatment and ensure quality of care.
At present, the government provides Rs 100,000 to poor cancer patients. Thapa said the cancer protocol was a kind of code of ethics, which would guide healthcare providers to follow uniform rules in the course of providing treatment to the cancer patients.
“This means a doctor cannot order a costly treatment for a cancer patient when treatment is available at a lower cost,” Minister Thapa said and added that the cancer protocol would help cancer sufferers make effective use of their money.
Minister Thapa said he was trying to increase the government’s aid to cancer sufferers from Rs 100,000 to Rs 200,000. He said that his ministry wanted to develop protocol for almost 12 other serious diseases very soon.
According to a press release issued by Minister Thapa’s personal secretariat, the protocol covers separate fee structures for 17 types of cancer. The protocol guides how much the service providers could charge a cancer patient, what treatment should be followed, what kinds of medications should be prescribed and for how long.
The protocol also provisions for the amount of free treatment for cancer patients, besides detailing the cost that the cancer sufferers will have to bear themselves. The Minister said that the newly enforced cancer treatment would not only enable the cancer sufferer to get treatment at a lower cost but also bring uniformity in the treatment of cancer. The government currently provides Rs 100,000 to patients of 12 serious diseases.
In the past, different hospitals prescribed different medical approach for the treatment of cancer which increased the treatment cost. According to World Health Organisation, cancer causes 65 per cent deaths among the deaths caused by non-communicable diseases.
A version of this article appears in print on May 11, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.