A Cancer Conclave-24 Focuses on Advocacy for Patients, Caregivers, and Research Joined by Experts

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The Cancer Conclave-24 organized by Uhapo was held amongst oncologists, health and policy experts, industry and platforms representing cancer patients in order to discuss the need of advocacy for bridging the care gap in Cancer (Also the theme for this world cancer day). The virtual program begun from 2:00 p.m. with an inaugural speech by Mr. Vivek Sharma, a Social Entrepreneur and IIM Calcutta alumnus working in the domains of cancer, and was concluded at 7:30 p.m. by Mr. Umeshnath Sharma, Co-founder of Uhapo Health Services. This was probably the first time any conference addressing all the aspects of cancer advocacy engaging almost all the stake holders in the cancer care chain was held attended by speakers like renowned Oncologists across the country, Social workers, NGOs, Palliative care experts, Insurance expert, Cancer patients, cancer caregivers, Industry, Chemotherapy Daycare Centre, cancer researchers and others.

Public Private Partnerships & Insurance were two most watched topics during the The Cancer Conclave – 24

Honestly, I did not have idea about how to do advocacy, but this program has given me many ideas how we can move ahead, says one of the panelists. It was a very well-organized conclave and one of the most meaningful meetings for me, said a Medical Oncologist who was part of a panel.

Dr. Vanita Noronha, Professor & Consultant Medical Oncologist from Mumbai said, “In India, we have very few patient advocacies in cancer and Patient advocates/advocacies need to be the integral part of cancer research and they need to be educated and trained well on the research aspects of cancer.

Dr. Bharat Bhosale, Medical Oncologist from Mumbai who moderated a session on Role of patient advocacy in insurance, said, “It is disappointing to see the rejection of the claims when people have paid premiums, in a few cases, for several years.

Dr. S. Prakash, Former Managing Director, Star Health acknowledged the need gap in better insurance policies while dealing with cancer at an affordable price. He also mentioned that he wishes to create something that can transform several lives and bridge the insurance gap.

Dr. Vijay Patil, Medical Oncologist from Mumbai while moderating a session on “Access to new cancer therapies and role of advocacy” mentioned – The therapies either need to be in the affordability range of people in the middle-class income group or they should be supported by organizations to increase the access, otherwise whatever revolution we bring in for saving lives, won’t serve the actual purpose.

During a session moderated by Ms. Ratna Devi, Director of ISPOR Patient Council, Dr. Arun Chandrasekharan, a Medical Oncologist from Calicut revealed why there is a need of patient advocacy with regards to different insurance schemes covering the same disease differently.

Dr. Ramana Rao – an 84-year-old cancer patient shared his challenges while getting a targeted therapy, essential for his treatment that was not included in the govt scheme. He also added -⁠ ⁠Most of even large Cancer Hospitals are not regularly updating and maintaining Digital Health Records of their patients causing inconvenience to the patients for travel and resources loss that can be avoided, and ⁠ all the cancer hospitals should have a strong Medical Social Work departments focusing on the comprehensive needs of the patients and caregivers.

Ms. Nishu Goel who heads Kewat Patient Navigation Program at Tata Memorial Centre shared her views on the challenges faced by newly diagnosed cancer patients and how patient advocacy can help.

The event had some significant names in the country like Dr. Hasmukh Jain, Associate Professor, Tata Memorial Centre Mumbai who is working on revolutionary CarT Cell therapy, Dr. Srinivas Chilukuri – Prof & Senior Consultant, Apollo Proton Cancer Centre, Chennai, Dr. Saravana Rajamanickam, Surgical Oncologist from Namakkal, Tamilnadu, Dr. Venkat Radhakrishnan, Medical Oncologist from Adyar Cancer Centre, Dr. Akhil Kapoor – Officer in Charge, MPMMCC, Varanasi, Dr. Alok Goel from HBCH, Sangrur, Dr. Amit Agarwal, Medical Oncologist from AIIMS Raipur, Dr. Venkata Pradeep, Medical Oncologist from Assam Cancer Care Foundation, Tezpur, Dr. Naveen Salins, Palliative care expert from KMC Manipal, Dr. K. V. Ganpathy, CEO – Jascap Foundation, Dr. Manali Patel, Intensivist and palliative care enthusiast, Dr. Smriti Khanna, Palliative care physician from Mumbai, Ms. Deepti Bhaskaran from Clinikk Healthcare, Dr. Kumar Prabhash – Professor & Medical Oncologist from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Mr. Maulik Chokshi from Access Health International, Dr. Sameer Bakshi from AIIMS Delhi, Dr. Vijay Sankaran from Mediassist, Dr. Chitra Gupta from Pfizer, Mr. James Rajakumar from Natco Pharma, Mr. Sanjeev Sharma from Lung Connect, Dr. Kunal Oswal from Karkinos Healthcare, Mr. Jaikumar Mane from MSW department, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and Ms. Vandana Gupta – Founder of VCare trust.

The event also witnessed Ms. Urvashi Prasad, Director of NITI Aayog who spoke on the government policies for cancer.

The event ended with the thank you note from Mr. Umeshnath Sharma (Co-founder, Uhapo Health Services Pvt. Ltd.) conveying his gratefulness towards all the panelists, cancer patients and around 35,000 people who were watching the conclave live, for joining the conclave and expressing their views.

About The Cancer Conclave-24

Cancer diagnosis and treatment have evolved over the years for the good of society and the country. But there are still several areas that need to be worked upon and the best possible way could be focused collaboration.

We intend to make a white paper out of this conclave and share with all the policy makers and other key stakeholders. We’ll also find ways to collaborate with government and other stake holders to increase the awareness & access to cancer treatment through advocacy because No One including government can do it alone. We all need to come together and fight the battle against cancer, shared Vivek Sharma, Founder – Uhapo.

To watch the complete webcast of the conclave, please visit the below link: www.youtube.com/watchv=iAosfZMXFas.

For more information, please visit www.uhapo.co.in/CancerConclave.

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