Free cancer treatment to poor children aged below 14

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Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 26 (UNI) Kerala Health Minister P K Sreemathy told the State Assembly today that free treatment would be provided to all poor children aged below 16, who were suffering from cancer.

Replying to questions, she said the free treatment facility had been introduced in the state from November one.

Stating that the government had noted that a large number of patients were forced to discontinue their treatment as they could not meet the cost of medicines, she said the benefit would be extended to children of middle class families also.

Besides the five Government Medical College Hospitals in the state, the free treatment would be available from the Regional Cancer Centre here, General Hospital, Ernakulam, Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery, and Cooperative Medical College Hospitals at Pariyaram (Kannur) and Kochi, she said.

Stating that the government policy was to provide free medicines to all BPL patients from the government MCHs and hospitals, the Health Minister said it was also considering to extent the facility to outpatients in the same category.

Ms Sreemathy said till October this year, 17 diphtheria cases had been reported in the state with Malappuram topping with 14. Four children had also died of this disease.

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