Hyderabad: Cancer patients are not being treated properly in private hospitals under the Aarogyasri scheme, the non-government organisation Helping Hand Foundation alleged in a complaint to health minister Dr C. Laxma Reddy.
More than 20,000 new cases of cancer were reported in 2017 in the state, of whom 11,000 patients sought treatment in government hospital while the rest in private hospitals.
The complaint cited, patients going for non-Aarogyasri counselling are given a different treatment. When they shift to Aarogyasri, the treatment at the hospital and by the doctor are not the same.
The foundation referred to the case of a 38-year-old woman from Malakpet who underwent chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer. When the cancer spread to the brain within a year, the hospital and doctors asked her to go to a government hospital.
In another case of a child with brain tumour, parents alleged that the doctor responded differently when they went as paying patients and was extremely rude when they opted for treatment under Aarogyasri.
Dr Srinivas S. Chilukuri, senior oncologist at a private hospital said, “These would be specific cases. By and large a large number of cancer patients has been treated under Aarogyasri and there have not been any problems.”
He said Aarogyasri covers the treatment in terms of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. The patient has to pay for pain relief and drugs which are not covered. Patients often get worked up when the approval from the department does not come as quickly as required. But this is not in the hands of doctors or hospitals,” he said. Very advanced cases of cancer with high risk factors are often referred to government centres, he said.