THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Here’s some good news for cancer and neurology patients. Medicines that are frequently prescribed for cancer and neurology patients, but were till now excluded in the state government insurance scheme - Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi - have finally found a place in KASP.
The Health Department has approved the rates for 199 oncology drugs along with 37 antibiotics in addition to supportive medicines for neurological disorders to be given under the insurance scheme. The decision follows a report of the Comprehensive Health Insurance Agency of Kerala (CHIAK), the state health agency for KASP. The 199 oncology drugs include 115 anticancer drugs and 84 additional cancer drugs.
“KASP was introduced in alignment with the centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme. There is a provision called unlisted surgical package in which the insurance company should approve a procedure that is out of the approved list upon a doctor’s report. But in the case of the unlisted medical package there is no provision for chemotherapy medicines,” said an officer with CHIAK.
Also, the drugs for neurological disorders were missing in the insurance package. As cancer care and neurological care needs urgent attention, CHIAK approached the Centre with the demand of a state-specific unspecified medical package and it was approved, he added.
At the same time, the insurer, Reliance General Insurance Company will have to reimburse the cost of these medicines as per the rates fixed by the Kerala Medical Services Corporation, the procurement agency for essential drugs and equipments for public health care institutions.
Earlier the National Health Authority, the apex body for implementing Ayushman Bharat scheme, had stated that it will provide health cover for cancer-based drug regimen and not on the type of cancer. It stated that as healthcare packages for cancer treatment are not very comprehensive it is planning to include all kinds of regimes for chemotherapy for various kinds of cancer under the scheme.