Patient Welfare Schemes
Apart from clinical and scientific achievements, the Centre has pioneered schemes to help the less privileged socio-economic groups. At RCC nearly 53% patients receive free treatment and another 27% in the middle income group receive treatment at subsidised rates. 'Cancer Care for Life' (CCL) scheme was launched in 1986 to generate a welfare fund for cancer patients. Consequent upon the winding up of the CCL scheme of Rs.101/- per policy holder, a new CCL project of Rs.500/- per policy was launched during 1993. The scheme has been stopped in the year 2014 for giving way to a viable scheme in the context of the present socio-economic environment. With these commendable efforts in the past 35 years the centre has carved a unique niche in the health map of Kerala.
A patient can avail one or more than one of several schemes listed below to alleviate some of the financial burden he/she may have to bear during the course of treatment.
- Cancer Suraksha Scheme (Government of Kerala): Cancer patients up to the age of 18 years in the BPL/APL groups are eligible to be included in this scheme and can avail of totally free treatment. All expenditure for investigations and treatment will be met from this scheme. Those patients who are yet to complete 18 years of age and need treatment are eligible for the benefit for one more year. To be included in this scheme a confirmed diagnosis of cancer is a must. Those patients who avail of pay ward facility and are eligible for medical re-imbursement from other sources or have medical insurance are not eligible for this scheme. This scheme is applicable only to patients from Kerala.
- Thaalolam (Government of Kerala) : Children below 18 years of age are eligible. This scheme is applicable to patients belonging to families too poor to afford treatment irrespective of BPL/APL category. Maximum assistance given under this scheme is Rs.1,00,000/- for diseases other than cancer which are lethal or fatal.
- Karunya Benevolent Fund (Government of Kerala):
Patientâ€™s whose annual income is less than Rs.3,00,000/- is eligible for this scheme. Patient has to apply in a particular form. Along with the application form they have to produce the passport size photo of the patient, family photo in front of the house, ration card copy and copy of aadhaar card. A family is eligible for Rs.2,00,000/-The application form has to be submitted in the concerned district lottery office.
- Sukrutham (Government of Kerala):
All BPL ration card holders of Kerala are eligible for this scheme. To be included in the scheme, a confirmed diagnosis of cancer is a must. Patients who are availing pay wards are not eligible for this scheme. The maximum benefit is Rs.3,00,000/-
- CHIS PLUS (Government of Kerala):
Production of the health card is a must. If the patient belongs to BPL category, he or she is eligible for a maximum of Rs.70, 000/- cashless treatment or for whatever amount is left in the credit. Patients who are not eligible for reimbursement only can avail this scheme.
- Snehasanthwanam for Endosulfan Victims (Government of Kerala):
The Victims have to produce their Endosulfan Smart Card to avail free treatment under this scheme.
- Comprehensive Health Care Programme for Scheduled Tribes (Government of Kerala): The patient should bring a copy of tribal certificate from village officer / tribal Officer. A patient in this category is eligible for full free treatment, including food and travelling expenses for himself. In one day, an APL patient is eligible for treatment worth Rs. 10, 000/- and BPL patient for Rs.50, 000/-.
- Financial aid from the Society for the Poor (Government of Kerala):Cancer patients from low socio-economic backgrounds are helped by paying Rs.50, 000/- for their treatment. Patients have to apply on a separate application form for this. The amount is fixed on the basis of expenditure already incurred by the patient.
- Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF):Patients belonging to low socio-economic status get financial aid from PMNRF for treatment. To avail himself of the grant, the patient has to apply with his family income certificate in English sourced from the Tahsildar, a passport size photo, a request made in English by the patient and an expenditure certificate from the treating doctor. These documents have to be forwarded by the patient to the Prime Minister's Office through the Member of Parliament before the completion of treatment. Expenditure incurred after the receipt of application in PM Office only will be considered. Reimbursement for prior treatment is not admissible under this scheme.
- Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN)(under Health Ministers' Cancer Patient Fund): This scheme provides financial aid for specific investigations and treatments. Eligible amount for one patient is Rs.2,00,000/-. The Government of India has provided a scale for each state - rural and urban area. The patient has to provide an original income certificate in English from the Tahsildar. The amount can be utilised only for surgery, chemotherapy medicines, radiology scans and IP care. Reimbursement is not admissible under this scheme.
- Cancer pension scheme::Pension is given to cancer patients after completion of treatment for supportive care. The patient has to produce a certificate from the concerned doctor to that effect each year and apply to the Government on the basis of this certificate. All BPL patients get a pension of Rs. 1000/- per month on a lifelong basis.
- Chief Minister and Health Ministers Fund: Apply in the prescribed form. This fund is sent directly to the patient's address.
- Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS):Applicable for retired Central Government employees and dependents. Every month a reference letter from CGHS local clinics should be produced.
- Employees' State Insurance (ESI):The patient has to produce two reference letters from the ESI Hospital along with eligibility and identity certificate. The reference letter is valid for 6 months (January to June and July to December). Expenditure certificate must be issued from the hospital. All facilities are provided on credit basis. Patients are not eligible for pay wards. Every June and December, these initial formalities have to be repeated.
- Employees of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)- VSSC employees, both in service and retired, and their dependents are eligible. Report with reference letter from VSSC. There is no income limit. Eligible for pay ward.
- Employees of Indian Railways - Railway employees and their dependents are eligible. Every month a new reference letter has to be produced. Report with reference letter from Southern Railway. Credit is for one month. There is no income limit. Rs.70/- per day will be charged for general ward patients. Not eligible for pay ward.
- Railway concession for cancer patient and one bystander:Travel for the patient is totally free. The bystander has to pay only 25% of the actual II class fare. This concession is applicable only for travel from nearest hometown station to RCC and back. If referred to another centre, concession is issued to that place.
- Air concession for cancer patient: Patient has to pay 50% of the actual charge. This concession is applicable only from nearest hometown airport to RCC and back. If referred to other centre, concession is issued to that place also.
- Union Territory Health Welfare Fund :Patients from Union Territory are eligible for 70% of total treatment expenditure. The hospital must receive a sanction from the Union Territory. Once we receive the sanction, we open credit for treatment. The remaining expenditure is collected on individual bill basis.
Patients eligible for benefits from ESI, CGHS, ECHS schemes, or from government/semi-government organisations and public service undertakings who bring credit references can avail themselves of credit facilities. If sufficient funds are credited in advance at the cash counter, it can save several visits to the counter for various payments.
Regional Cancer Centre Scheme
- Free food scheme :Below poverty line (BPL) patients who are admitted in wards are provided free food. Vegetarian food is provided three times a day and tea/coffee with snacks is provided twice. This scheme functions with the help of contributions from well-wishers. All 'F' Category patients and those patients in borderline income group, if recommended by ward sister are eligible for this scheme.
Non Government schemes/services
- A Free Medicine Bank : Located at Level 7, Block B, is open between 11.30 AM and 1.30 PM on all working days. It is run on the basis of contributions in the form of money or medicines from individuals or groups. NGOs also take up active role in the functioning of drugs bank. First-line and second line chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, disposables and supportive medicines are issued free of cost. Individuals/groups shall make contribution - by cash/ by medicine.
- Susan Daniel Cancer Relief Fund, USA -It is benefitted to 100 patients /per year ($ 100 each), for which RCC sends the list of patients.
- Holy Trinity Charitable Trust, Trivandrum- Patients have to apply directly.
- Madhyamam Health Care scheme - Individual patients get up to Rs. 20, 000 for treatment.
- Melam Masala - Patients have to apply directly. Application forms are provided from Thiruvalla office every second Saturday.
- Two NGOs working at RCC help poor patients for treatment, daily supportive care, food, rehabilitation of the family, transportation, vocational rehabilitation etc. On an average 1,200 patients are benefited annually.
- Home care service by NGOs. Palliative care services are delivered to patients belonging to 70 KM radius in Thiruvananthapuram. A team consisting of a doctor, nurse, and social worker visit patients and give necessary care as well as other support.
- Indian Cancer Society : In collaboration with HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd this scheme provides funds for the treatment of curable cancers in low income group patients. Doctors identify the patients. Patients have to report with a copy of ration card, aadhaar card, income certificate from Tahsildar a photograph of the patient and a photo in CD. Financial assistance will cover cost of all aspects of treatment, including tests, nutrition, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and prosthesis. Not eligible for pay ward facility. Eligible amount for one patient is Rs. 4,00000/-. Credit can be opened only after the sanction letter is received.
- Aasandha Insurance for Male Patients:Every Maldives patient will have to bring a reference letter from Aasandha Insurance Co. On some occasions reference letter can sent though SMS or e-mail. Only after receipt of the reference, can credit be opened. Maximum credit for one year is Rs.3,00000/-. Credit eligibility for one reference letter is Rs. Rs. 1,00000/-.