Adyar Cancer Institute appeals to public for donations

The appeal said the institute required funds to procure N95 masks, gloves, PPE kits, had to maintain equipment, purchase drugs and take care of the poor patients and staff.

The Cancer Institute, Adyar, has put out an appeal for donations citing the “unprecedented second wave (of COVID-19) that has started pulling us back in a big way.”

Although all departments in the institute were functional but with the subsequent restrictions, the patient flow had been reduced to a small fraction of the normal operations.

However, the institute’s operational expenses remained the same. “Our staff are excellent in doing dedicated service in spite of the serious risks involved,” the appeal read. “We have to continue to function, and the institute has always been in the forefront when it comes to taking care of poor and socio-economically weak patients, who get the standard treatment, totally free, pandemic or not.”

The appeal said the institute required funds to procure N95 masks, gloves, PPE kits, had to maintain equipment, purchase drugs and take care of the poor patients and staff. Arvind Krishnamurthy, professor and head of surgical oncology, said the institute had 1,000 staff on its roll.

“In the institute, not a single staff has been laid off during the pandemic, and not a single rupee from their pay was cut. Even the staff who are in the preventive oncology sector such as community outreach programme and involved in screening patients and various projects have been retained. Even they have been retained but they have not been able to do the service for what they were recruited,” Dr. Arvind said.

“It is a challenge to run the organisation. It is an appeal to the general public. We do not know how the future will pan out in terms of the third wave. Right now, the outpatient department is running full fledged. We had new donors in the first wave of the pandemic. The crunch was in the second wave of the pandemic. However, in the long run, we would like to have a steady flow of resources,” Dr. Arvind said.

The institute is approaching individuals and well-wishers in India and abroad, he added. During the first wave, V. Shanta, then chairman of the institute, had made a similar appeal. The response had helped the institute remain functional.

The institute offers subsidised treatment to 40% of its patients and free treatment to 20% of its patients. This continued even during the pandemic, Dr. Arvind said.

On an average, the institute spent ₹3.5 crore on drugs, including anti-cancer medicines and ₹4.75 crore on salaries.

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