Recently we got the opportunity to attend a Cancer related conference on an important topic “Affordable Cancer Care in India” which was attended Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India, Bureaucrats including Director General of Health, Policy makers, country’s top Oncologists and many Innovator & Generic pharmaceutical industries representatives.
It was good conference as all topics were critical for patients and their family especially when comes to financial impact with Cancer. We want to congratulate ‘BCPBF The Cancer foundations’ and organisers to gather so many key stakeholders together and putting such critical patients sensitive & related topic on table.
Though as we experienced before affordability, access is issue. If we do not have access to right & latest medicines in India, then all other things would become secondary. And I got the opportunity to raise this point that before affordability, access is issue….access to latest medicines & clinical research for better treatment & long survival for Cancer patients in India in urgent medical need.
All discussions by panelists & speakers were open and progressive. I hope policy makers would hear the recommendations from conference.
But yes, one thing I found lacking and it is common in India but wish to share is – Lack of ‘patients voice’ or ’empowered patient voice’ in such important conferences & discussions. We are talking and caring about patients, in that scenario as very common in western countries where patients have empowered voice, patients advocates should be part of each sessions like Doctors were. This will also help to understand the issue better as you are hearing who are suffering and to raise demands more strongly infront of policy makers. Despite that we are happy that stakeholders are thinking & talking about such sensitive topic where with Cancer, patients & family usually lost all available resources & have to struggle to survive.
We will continue to raise patients voice ✌️