Understanding the cost of cancer treatment in India

Low Cost Cancer treatment in India

By Omar A Siddiqui, Managing Director, Medicure Medical Travels

Getting treatment for cancer is an ongoing process in which the total cost of cancer treatment should be factored in for years to come ahead as well. People would unanimously agree to one of the basic fact that the cost of cancer treatment in India is highly affordable compared to other countries in the world. This cost of cancer treatment in India also includes the medications that are exorbitantly expensive in other parts of the world and are out of reach to majority of the patients.

When we talk about the cost of cancer treatment in India we are including the cost of chemotherapy, surgeries and other secondary cost i.e. the medications themselves.  Because once treated for cancer some of the medications continue for many years.

If a simple breakdown of cost of cancer treatment in India is calculated which includes the secondary expenditures as well then too the cost will be quite low and affordable.

For a layman the breakdown of the cost of cancer treatment in India can be numbered as

  1. Cost of travelling to India
  2. Cost of cancer diagnostics in India
  3. Cost of accommodation in India
  4. Cost of travelling within India
  5. Cost of food and miscellaneous expenses
  6. Cost of cancer treatment in India
  7. Cost of cancer medicines in India

Cost of travelling to India

The cost of travelling to India from continents such as Africa, America or within Asia can vary alot. Cost of travelling from Africa to India can be as high as $1300 per person excluding medical visa cost, travelling to airport cost etc. A median value thus can be calculated to be between the range of $750 – $800 per person. Usually an attendant travels with the patient hence the cost multiplies.

Cost of cancer diagnostics in India

Any patient who coming to India for cancer treatment will undergo investigations and diagnostics such as Blood tests, PET CT Scan, MRI Scans, XRAYS and other cancer diagnostic tests. A package for such diagnostic can cost roughly around $600 for full body cancer check-up.

Cost of accommodation in India

The number of days required to stay in India for cancer treatment can vary between 3-4 weeks since the sessions for cancer treatment  and regular follow-ups with the doctor are required to continuously track the progress. For example a course of chemotherapy can last upto a week and two. And can be repeated also. Hence, the stay in India for cancer treatment is calculated between 3 – 4 weeks. The cost for a neat and clean B&B or a regular guest house can be between $30 – $75 per day

Also it is important to note that in most cases the cancer treatment would be a day care procedure.

Cost of travelling within India

Usually the travel cost during stay in India for cancer treatment in India will be minimal since the accommodation in most cases is provided near to the hospitals. This cuts down on travel time and also the total cost of cancer treatment in India. The total cost of travelling can thus be calculated to be around $250. This is for travel within the city and not for outside the city. In rare cases do the patients travel outside the city to other places for recreation and holiday purpose.

Cost of food and miscellaneous expenses

Food and miscellaneous expenses are two very important things that can vary the cost of cancer treatment in India significantly. There are two options available to the patients when they come to India for cancer treatment. Either they can stay in accommodations with kitchens so that they can cook their own food or the more expensive option of ordering food. The other option will always come out expense compared to cooking your own food. The expenses for grocery can range from $3-$6 per day for 3 meals a days.  Whereas the cost of ordering food can be around $20 per day.

Cost of cancer treatment in India

The cost of cancer treatment in India will depend upon the type of cancer treatment the patient has to undergo. A typical cancer treatment cost in India can be described as below:

Cost of Chemotherapy in India – $1100 per session

Per session duration of Chemotherapy in India – 3 – 4 days per cycle

This is only a per session cost. Typically patients may require more than one session

What is included in this cost of cancer treatment in India ?

·         Room Charges (for specified period), Consumables, Surgery & Surgeons Fees

·         OT Charges

·         Anaesthesia Charges

·         Pre-Op Investigations

·         Medicines (Standard) for the number of days as per package. If extra medicines used which are not routinely used it would be charged extra at actual.

·         Bedside procedures

·         Food & beverages for patient & attendant during hospital stay if applicable

Cost of cancer medicines in India

Depending upon the nature of treatment in India for cancer the medicines prescribed may vary from patient to patient. A typical cost of a patient undergoing cancer treatment in India would be $100 to $500. But this is only variable cost. Actual cost varies from patient to patient.

 For  Cost ( $ USD)
Cost of travelling to India ( Return Ticket) $ 1000
Cost of cancer diagnostics in India $ 700
Cost of accommodation in India ( 3 weeks) $ 630
Cost of travelling within India $ 250
Cost of food and miscellaneous expenses ( 3 weeks) $ 210
Cost of cancer treatment in India ( 2 Chemotherapy in India Sessions) $ 2200
Cost of cancer medicines in India  $ 300
APPROX Total Cost { NOTE: COST CAN BE LESS OR MORE} $ 5290

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