Nagpur: The National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Jamtha, which was formally inaugurated last week, has received Rs 550 crore from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund. A substantial portion comes from Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), with private companies such as Reliance and Adani Group also contributing substantially.
Funds were being collected for the hospital since 2014 with the aim of providing low-cost treatment to cancer patients.
National Cancer Institute has been created by a trust, Dr. Abjaji Thatte Institute of Services and Research, whose name is named after the RSS campaigner Dr. Thatte. Started in 2017, the hospital has just completed its second phase, and was fully dedicated to the public last week. And the guests included RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Billionaire Gautam Adani was also present along with representatives of other companies that contributed to the hospital.
“We started approaching companies with the concept of a state-of-the-art cancer hospital in the city. It was tough, but eventually, we raised enough money,” says Shailesh Joglekar, general secretary of the trust that runs the hospital.
Comes at heavily subsidized rates as compared to the private sector
The cancer treatment facility has a very long return on investment period. This may prevent the private sector from investing a very large amount. This makes a CSR-funded hospital a much better option. As CSR has become mandatory, it has also helped, he said.
The fund has helped a lot in building the entire set up. Since it takes care of the capital cost, patients can be treated at a lower cost. This is about half of what the private sector charges on average, says Joglekar. He fully agrees that NCI is unique in its kind considering the scale of funding purely through CSR. Small donations can also be made by individuals, which qualify for tax exemption, he says.
He also said that if treatment is free in government hospitals, then in NCI it comes at heavily subsidized rates as compared to the private sector.