The National Health Authority (NHA) and the National Cancer Grid (NCG) have inked an MoU to develop uniform standards of patient care to battle cancer under the central government's health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat.
The NCG is an initiative of the government to create a network of cancer centres, research institutes, patient groups and charitable institutions across the country.
Owing to the multi-disciplinary nature of care required for cancer management, both NHA and NCG recognise the importance of collaborative efforts required to strengthen the delivery of cancer services under Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).
The aim is to reduce cancer burden, improve access to cancer services and ensure financial risk protection with a minimum prevalence of catastrophic health spending and impoverishment, an official statement said.
NCG and NHA officials met in New Delhi recently to discuss their new partnership on a wide range of ideas to improve cancer care.?
"The main objectives of this collaboration include developing uniform standards of patient care for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, providing specialized training and education in oncology and facilitating collaborative basic, translational and clinical research in cancer.
"NHA and NCG will jointly review existing cancer treatment packages, pricing of services, standard treatment workflows covered under AB-PMJAY and plug-in necessary gaps to ensure enhanced quality of cancer care," the statement stated.
On this new partnership, NHA CEO Indu Bhushan said, "We are glad to partner with National Cancer Grid and welcome their expertise in enhancing the cancer care services provided under the scheme. We look forward to NCG's support and expertise in enabling us to expand our service delivery network by actively encouraging its member hospitals to empanel with AB-PMJAY."
The PMJAY is the flagship scheme of the government which aims at providing a cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to over 10.74 crore vulnerable entitled families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries).?
PMJAY provides cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service.? According to the health ministry, it will help reduce catastrophic expenditure for hospitalizations, which impoverishes six crore people each year and will help mitigate the financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.