39 Million Indians Forced Into Poverty Each Year Due To Hospitalisation Expenses: World Bank

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NEW DELHI – Last year, dentistPradeep Yadav lost his 22years old brother, Prakash, toAcute lymphoblastic leukemia(ALL), a cancer of the whiteblood cells that is usually diagnosedin children. By the timethe Delhi University student wasdiagnosed with ALL inNovember, 2011, the cancer hadspread to his central nervoussystem. The doctors treatinghim told the Yadavs very littlecould be done. Prakash died inMay last year.”We first took him to the AllIndia Institute of MedicalSciences (AIIMS) and later toRajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute,where doctors did their bestwhile preparing us mentally thathis condition was not curable,”said Yadav, who runs a privateclinic in Sadiq Nagar in SouthDelhi. In the six months thatPrakash fought his losing battleto cancer, his family spent closeto Rs. 30 lakh. The medicinesalone cost Rs. 6,000 in a day.”Add to that high-endchemotherapy drugs, a batteryof diagnostic tests, includingPET Scans and blood and bonemarrow scans, and hospitalisationfor about 100 days and theexpense kept adding up,” saysPrakash. “He underwent fourcycles of chemotherapy and thedoses got stronger with eachcycle. His blood count woulddrop drastically after everychemotherapy session, and hehad to be transfused wholeblood and sometimes bloodcomponents,” recalls Yadav.