Strengthening public health cancer care capabilities in Karnataka

Case Summary

We worked with the government of Karnataka to create a tiered model for cancer care, allowing the state to triage better, provide appropriate quality care, increase access and help create a referral centre / Centre of Excellence.

Karnataka is now considered one of the best states when it comes to its approach to accessible cancer care for all income groups.


Karnataka had a cancer incidence of ~73,000 cases per year (2016). Widespread use of tobacco and other risk factors combined with low awareness is the main reason for 70% of patients being diagnosed only in the late stages, when prognosis is poor.

Bengaluru is a major hub for cancer treatment in India, but most facilities are privately owned. Kidwai Cancer Institute (KCI) is the only government facility offering comprehensive cancer care in Karnataka. Due to geographical constraints some patients need to travel up to 14 hours to access appropriate and affordable treatment facilities.

Our client wanted to create a tiered model of cancer facilities offering prevention, screening, treatment and palliative care services with the following long-term goals:

  • No patient shall have the need to travel far or leave the state to seek quality cancer care
  • Cost of treatment shall be affordable to the masses
  • The provider ecosystem shall be focused on standardized treatment protocols for all key clinical conditions
  • Hospital operators shall be focused on training programs for physicians and nurses, establishing a cancer registry and conducting clinical research
Strengthening public health cancer care capabilities in Karnataka

Our work

The cancer control program consisted of 3 key focus areas – developing the new network plan for the cancer facilities, strategizing policy interventions and estimating the capital expenditure. The current and future demand for cancer services was estimated with a proprietary model. The existing cancer care facilities in the state were mapped by our healthcare analytics team and a new network plan was designed by optimizing patient travel times.

We conducted site visits to key cancer facilities and assessed the infrastructure, regulatory compliances, manpower, screening activities and payment models. This allowed us to develop a plan for upgrading these centers.

We studied and documented the typical patient pathway across prevention, screening, treatment and post-treatment rehabilitation. All patient pain points were identified, and strategies were recommended to address them, including infrastructure reinforcements and policy interventions.

We developed a plan to transform the state’s Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), KCI, into a Centre of Excellence (CoE) and estimated the capital expenditure requirement for strengthening the cancer care infrastructure in the state

Strengthening public health cancer care capabilities in Karnataka (2)

The transformation plans

  • Camomile developed a comprehensive strategy to strengthen cancer care in the state of Karnataka. This project enabled Karnataka to be a front runner in offering comprehensive cancer care to patients of all income categories across the state
  • The new cancer network plan enabled stakeholders to visualize the distribution of cancer care across all districts
  • Key policy interventions were recommended regarding increasing awareness about cancer and improving the reach and efficiency of prevention and screening programs. These policies when implemented would serve the overall purpose of strengthening cancer care in the state
  • Manpower needs, medical equipment needs, and the overall capex required for the implementation of the network plan and the upgradation of KCI were developed. This presented an overall investment that would be required for the state-wide transformation
  • In addition, funding options were also provided to the clients to enable prompt implementation of the plan. The funding options included state and central government schemes for the facilities meeting the eligibility criteria and assistance from philanthropic organizations

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