Stem cell transplant in India costs a fraction of what it does abroad
but the country has very few centres where the procedure can be done and
not enough dedicated medical staff, says an expert.
Stem cell transplant, a process by which new cells are introduced into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury, has shown promise in treating various kinds of diseases, including some cancers. However, there are only 10-11 centres in India where it can be done, says Lalit Kumar, professor of medical oncology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.
A stem cell transplant can cost up to Rs.1 crore (approx $223,000) abroad, depending on the type of procedure, and the patient is asked to deposit the full amount before the transplant, said Kumar.
In comparison, in India it costs Rs.10-20 lakh in private hospitals, while in government hospitals it is much cheaper - Rs.3-6 lakh - depending on the type of procedure, he said.