Background and Context:
In India cancer affects million and kills 6,00,000 patients each year. Cure rates hover around 30%, mainly because 55% families cannot afford treatment costs.
Provide financial assistance to cover all expenses for underprivileged patients with potentially curable cancers.
In 2011 the Indian Cancer Society and HDFC Mutual Fund joined hands to provide financial aid by launch of the first debt fund specifically for cancer cure. In this 100 per cent debt-oriented three-year close-ended capital protection-oriented mutual fund scheme, a total amount of USD 13 Million (INR 770 million) was collected from around 1,500 customers. Philanthropic supporters donated the dividend earned to the cause of cancer cure while preserving their capital and getting the benefit of income tax exemption.
Under the supervision of a two tier all-India Due Diligence Team and Governing Advisory Council, eight leading hospitals of repute from different parts of the country were empanelled for this fund using a transparent and predefined criteria. The USD 2.5 million (INR 148.9 million) donations received were then used to grant financial aid for medical treatment to 609 financially challenged (family income of less than INR 1,00,000 per year; USD 1,695) cancer patients with potentially curable disease. Of these, more than 80% of the patients are less than 30 years of age. The funds disbursed were specifically earmarked for each individual patient. Empanelled hospitals also contributed by waiving hospital bed and consultant doctor fees as well as by minimizing other charges.
Costs and returns:
These 609 patients (45% ALL, 33% solid tumors) were from 29 states of India with less than 1% abandonment of treatment.
Outcomes/What was learned:
This unprecedented success, led to the second edition of the debt fund tripling the donations available. HDFC also committing to match the donations upto INR 50 million (USD 846,000) every year.