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‘Make Cancer Care Affordable’

Times of India
14 October 2010
Bangalore, India

Integration of different streams of medicines and making cancer care affordable were the buzz words at the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies world–tour meeting on Wednesday.

Devi Shetty Devi Shetty
To give advice on how to make services affordable was member of governing council of Medical Council of India (MCI) and chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya, Dr Devi Shetty, who said: "India will have a model healthcare system in five years. We have a population of 1.2 billion people and 28 million babies are born every year.

Fifty per cent of our population is less than 25 years old. It’s a huge strength. When I was a medical student, I was told that healthcare in India is going to be very expensive. But look at America now, 50% of the population doesn’t have decent medical care," he said.

He gave examples of model insurance schemes like Karnataka’s Yeshasvini, following which Andhra Pradesh implemented Arogyashri and Tamil Nadu implemented Kalaignar. "We are currently helping six states to launch micro health insurance schemes. Healthcare infrastructure is undergoing a sea change. Karnataka alone has more nursing colleges than America. At Health City, we are performing around 54 heart surgeries per day," he added.

Foundation for Head and Neck Oncology president Dr Anil D’cruz said there have been a lot of innovations in head and neck oncology research. "Earlier, advanced patients were administered high doses of chemotherapy. Now there are low doses of metronomic chemotherapy. There are anti–cancerous agents as simple as curcumin that is used vastly in ayurveda," he said.

According to experts, curcumin or turmeric can stop cancer in its earliest stages, long before it is detectable. It works at the level of the cell.

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