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Health is a fundamental human right and access to healthcare is something that everyone deserves in spite of one’s social or financial status. Health affects a person on an individual level and the country on an economic level and hence it’s important for the government to invest in its nation’s health and welfare. Especially, when it comes to critical illnesses like cancer, where with the increasing life expectancy, the chances of one falling prey to the disease has increased exponentially. And with the expensive crusade of treatment, it is important for the government to offer aids to support treatment in affordable ways.

The Government of India has launched several schemes to counter the issue of diseases and lack of aids to the citizens:

1. Ayushman Bharat: This is a National health protection Scheme to provide Hospitalization cover to over 10 Crore poor and vulnerable families. This will cover both prevention and health promotion. There are two schemes under this:

  • Health and Wellness Centre: Under this scheme, 1.5 lakh centers will take healthcare system to the homes of people. These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services. There is a possibility of corporate and private sectors to be a part of it as well through CSR activities.
  • National Health Protection Scheme: This scheme will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. This will be the world’s largest government-funded health care programme.

2. The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY): PMSSY was announced with the purpose of correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country by setting up of various institutions like AIIMS and upgrading government medical college institutions.

3. Prime Minister’s National Relief fund: This policy was started by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru in the year 1948 to help families of natural disasters and riots. However, medical assistance for cancer treatment is also provided under this fund. 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.

4. Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) and State Illness Assistance Funds (SAIF): Under this scheme, the government provides financial assistance for families below poverty line. There’s also a closure for Income Tax Relief for Cancer Patient.

5. Chief Minister’s Relief funds: It is provided to the families that have opted for SAIF. This excludes states of Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

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