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World Cancer Day: More Funding and Innovation required to combat cancer through early diagnosis

New Delhi, February 4, 2019: Cancer is India’s second biggest killer after heart disease and Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) burden is rising alarmingly. On World Cancer Day, Apex Healthcare body- NATHEALTH called for declaring a war against cancer and said that the country needs more funding and innovation to combat NCDs through early diagnosis.

NATHEALTH said, ‘Let us win the war on cancer by strengthening the Primary Care framework focused on prevention.”

As the world observes Cancer Day on February 4, NATHEALTH strongly recommended higher spending by both public and private sector in cancer research, innovation and treatment.

A significant increase in healthcare spending ($3 trillion cumulatively) is needed to bridge the gaps in Indian healthcare. PPPs will play a key role in encouraging private investment in delivery, medical education and R&D, it said.

Over 190 countries have committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim at reducing disease and death burden due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer by one-third by 2030 (and 25% by 2025).

"India’s NCDs burden is rising alarmingly and it is estimated to cost $6 trillion by 2030. We need to declare and win and war on NCDs. Proactive steps by a forward-thinking government can help enablers in healthcare to win the war against the disease burden in our country,” said Mr Daljit Singh, President, NATHEALTH.

According to WHO estimates, cancer burden rose to 18.1 million new cases and it claimed 9.6 million lives in 2018. India’s share in it was a worrying 8.17 per cent.

“India needs to scale up and expand current programmes to overcome the growing cancer burden in the country. Scaling up is need to control cancer with care offerings that integrate screening, prevention, treatment and follow-up, enabled by partnerships—both private-private and public-private, and across the delivery, insurance, technology and pharmaceutical sectors,” said Mr Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Secretary General, NATHEALTH.

Every year, the world observes World Cancer Day on February 4th to create awareness. The theme for this year too is “I can and I will”, emphasising the need for collaborative action to fight cancer.

“We urgently need to declare war on NCDs. Population-level NCD screening efforts are required among high-risk groups, followed by enrolment of diagnosed populations in holistic care plans, including education and counselling on healthy living,” he added.

According to NATHEALTH, structural shifts towards specialised, protocol-based and integrated care are needed and continuing the trend towards specialisation will improve patient outcomes and lead to greater differentiation among service providers.

“Moving towards protocol-based care will improve the quality of care, and care integration will help manage costs and improve overall outcomes. Moreover, we need to focus on innovations which will enable low-cost solutions and improved outcomes. Innovation in delivery formats is needed to ensure that afford able care can be delivered to the mass market and beyond major cities,” the Secretary General said.


NATHEALTH has been created with the Vision to “Be the credible and unified voice in improving access and quality of healthcare”. Leading Healthcare Service Providers, Medical Technology Providers (Devices & Equipment), Diagnostic Service Providers, Health Insurance companies, Health Education Institutions, Healthcare Publishers and other stakeholders have come together to build NATHEALTH as a common platform to power the next wave of progress in Indian Healthcare. NATHEALTH is an inclusive Institution that has representation of small & medium hospitals and nursing homes. NATHEALTH is committed to work on its Mission to encourage innovation, help bridge the skill and capacity gap, help shape policy & regulations and enable the environment to fund long term growth. NATHEALTH aims to help build a better and healthier future for both rural and urban India.   

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