An Aid to Healthcare

Crowdfunding Renders Financial Help, and More

According to the cancer registry released by the Indian Council of Medical Research, the incidence of cancer in India is estimated to grow by 25 per cent by 2020.

Cancer is quickly becoming one of the major causes of death in the country, and every year, lakhs of Indians are devastated by the diagnosis of cancer. On an average, more than 1,300 Indians succumb to the dreaded disease every day.

Cancer-care as an insurance product has only emerged over the past few years. Before that, people would first draw down their own savings and liquidate assets to meet treatment costs. Borrowings and financial aid from various communities, groups and friends, family and the state would be the next best resort. Despite this, many people have to discontinue treatment, unable to bear the financial burden. This puts them through the grappling experience of having to helplessly watch a loved one painfully inch towards death.

In fact, India’s private healthcare spending is estimated at $90 billion a year. Of this, about $60 billion is out-of-pocket: from savings, borrowings, selling their assets, and support from friends and family. This is where crowdfunding plays a role, bridging the gap, and making it easy to both ask for and render financial assistance.

Addresses Many Challenges

For a long time, the only way to help people was by donating to established organisations and NGOs till online crowdfunding enabled people to directly help another individual in need.

Crowdfunding platforms address the many challenges of giving, such as difficulty in discovering the right causes, trust deficit and overall donor involvement. They share verified stories of individuals and groups with a network of their trusted community of people, who can connect with the cause to help with a donation.

Crowdfunding platforms today, are working closely with hospitals across the country so that processes like verification, collection of documents and updates on the progress of patients can be direct and quick.

Besides making treatment available to anyone with the Internet, there are other exciting possibilities that online fund-raising opens up. Routing medical aid through campaigns creates a much-needed forum for people to discuss and compare medical practices, successes and costs. It is like pulling an opaque curtain off the healthcare. In a mature market these conversations can be an important force in shaping policy in healthcare.

Other than these benefits caused by the disruptive effects of crowdfunding, a campaign becomes a place where support and strength can flow to someone in need. Donors not only donate but often share heart-warming messages of solidarity. This, more than anything else, is perhaps the fuel of the crowdfunding engine. Forming strong communities dedicated to doing something concrete.

Digital crowdfunding is a new but promising route to help urgent requirements as cancer-care. More and more people are now raising funds online to deal with medical emergencies more efficiently.

Over the next few years, it will hopefully become as prominent an option as personal loans or borrowings, so that the seeking and rendering of financial aid becomes a faster, easier and more organised affair. – The Hindu BusinessLine

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