Cancer patients in India cheated of appropriate care

A letter in this week's BMJ charges the medical community in India with a "commercialisation of suffering and prolongation of lucrative illness."

Dr Chatuverdi, Assistant Surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai states that, in a country with 3 million cancer sufferers of whom 80 per cent are incurable there are only 20 dedicated cancer centres and 13 hospices. Those with advanced conditions are consequently made to feel they should forego non-paying resources, he claims. As a result, they often undergo unwarranted and ineffectual treatments at the hands of private practitioners.

The letter goes on to outline how aspects of appropriate care in developed countries palliative care, counselling, rehabilitation, are rarely offered.

While a culture of promoting lucrative but inappropriate treatments prevails, he argues, medical practitioners of the future will follow suit.


Contact: Emma Dickinson
BMJ-British Medical Journal

Page: 1

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