A TO Z OF FINANCIAL HELP FOR A CANCER PATIENT SEEKING TREATMENT FUNDS

Cancer treatment can be expensive which usually deters people from either following or completing their treatment plans. The bills usually tend to run so high that they become an added source of pressure on the already emotionally stressed out and anxious people. This article aims to provide guidance as to how to organise your finances, types of costs that can crop up and ways to seek treatment funds.

IDENTIFYING COSTS:

Cancer treatment includes medical costs like doctor’s appointments, treatment, medication etc. Various non-medical or hidden expenditure includes travel, financial issues of a family or loss of employment. It might be helpful to group the various costs according to your needs and budget. The overall cost of treatment would depend on various personal factors like the kind of cancer one has, the type of treatment needed, health insurance coverage and where you will be treated.

GOVERNMENT POLICIES:
  1. PRIME MINISTER’S NATIONAL RELIEF FUND ( PMNRF) :
  2. Started by former PM Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in 1948 to help families of major natural disasters and riots. However, they also provide medical assistance for cancer treatment. Funds are provided by PM or multiple delegates for national cause. A person can apply online and even check the hospitals covered under the fund on the PMNRF website. The approval of the application depends solely on the discretion of the PM. Website link

  3. MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE:
  4. Under the schemes of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi ( RAN) and State Illness Assistance Funds (SAIF), government provides financial assistance for families below poverty lines . The assistance is provided only for treatment in government hospitals, list of which is available online. Cases of estimates above 1.50 lakh are referred to RAN by the State Government. There’s also a closure for Income Tax Relief for Cancer Patient. The form for the same is available online: here

  5. CHIEF MINISTER’S RELIEF FUNDS
  6. It is provided by states that have opted for SAIF. However, this excludes states of Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

NON GOVERNMENT ORGANISATIONS

There are NGOs in India which have been raising funds for treatment of cancer patients. Some of these are also dedicated towards providing assistance for specific cancer, for example breast cancer. Most of them have a holistic approach as to the treatment and rehabilitation. Some of these NGO are CPAA India, HelpAge India, and India Cancer Society etc. Crowd funding by various starts-ups has also picked up who make use of social media to raise funds for cancer patients. Links