API is partnering with Tata Trust to improve health care for people in rural India. Nearly 75% of the poor population of the country resides in villages.. They lack access to even basic medical care. India is facing an enormous burden of 1.9 million new cases per year. Most of these present at an advanced stage thus necessitating complex and expensive treatments. A majority of these patients are visiting a doctor for the first time in their life. There is a significant gap between the needs and the availability of physician and health care resources for rural cancer patients. The need to travel to metropolitan areas, the cost and the delay in receiving care for these villagers further compromises the care they can obtain leading poor outcomes.
Tata trust is developing a distributive model for cancer care with digitally connected centers across the country to address this discrepancy in the delivery of cancer care to the poor in the villages. The network will integrate primary health centers, district hospitals to medical colleges. As India lacks adequate number of qualified Oncology specialists they would like to partner with AAPI to provide Medical ,Surgical and Radiation oncologists to deliver quality cancer care. These specialists will spend from one to three months in Tata cancer centers in India. They will also provide Tele-medicine consultations.
The model envisions an integrated well connected network of existing and additional centers staffed by local and AAPI volunteer specialists from USA working partly in India and partly via tele-medicine from US to deliver high quality cancer care across the country i n the villages. This collaboration can also help with prevention, early detection as well as other health related areas like sanitation and safe drinking water.
The trust has already embarked on forming a national cancer grid comprising major cancer centers in the country, research institutes, patient groups and charitable institutions. They will develop uniform standards of treatment, early diagnosis and prevention protocols. The specialized centers will also provide training and education besides conducting basic, transnational and clinical research.
Tata trusts will pioneer these programs with from their flagship cancer centers of Mumbai, Kolkata and the most recent center in Tirupati in A.P. This collaborative effort can not only provide much needed high quality care in an affordable manner to the impoverished in rural India but also open new vistas for joint research for local and US cancer specialists.