By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 9: VHP’s intertiol working president Pravin Bhai Togadia has stepped into the health sector for he feels that treatment costs a pretty penny in India, beyond the reach of the poor.
With India Health Line (IHL) Foundation Togadia has penetrated Assam as well for, what he says, to serve the poor, middle class and needy patients in the State.
Iugurating IHL’s Health Ambassador Training camp at Lion’s Eye Hospital at Chatribari in the city on Sunday, Togadia said: “The health service being provided by the Government of India covers only 29 per cent of the total population of the country. The remaining 71 per cent people of the tion can’t afford to spend the treatment cost. The annual health budget in the country is around Rs 16 lakh crore. The amount which the ailing people in the country have to spend annually is around Rs 14 lakh crore. This expenditure is set to increase manifold in the next 20 years. India spends only two per cent of its GDP on health against eight to ten per cent by other countries. India’s percentage of spending on health sector is less than that of Bangladesh and Nepal, let alone that of affluent countries. Around 45 crore people, which a-third of the total population in India, are ailing, but around 80 per cent of them i.e. 35 crore are ignorant of their ailments. Poverty is to be blamed for this. For around 35 crore people in the country the monthly income is just Rs 1,000. On the contrary, they’ll have to spend around Rs 5,000 to get treatment from a specialist.”
Togadia said: “Indians were known for their good health. However, the situation has now changed. Ill health is the hallmark of India now. We need to blame it on food habit for such an unhealthy development. India has become a big hospital now with almost all serious diseases affecting almost 75 per cent of population. People fear going to specialist doctors due to fear of high costs or scaring about ‘what if it’s serious’. However, timely check-up and time counseling by specialist doctors can save many lives and costs. IHL has got tremendous response from the medical fraternity and from the common people as well.”
On the health scerio in Assam, Togadia said: “The prevalence of cancer has been on the rise in Assam. Use of rcotics like gothka, etc., is behind it. In order to make the health sector free of cost for the poor and needy patients, IHL has already put in place a network roping in around 10,000 specialists who’ve come forward to render free of cost health services on their own. In the coming days the number of specialists is going to be around 50,000.”
On the modus operandi, Togadia said: “The services will be delivered when a patient calls 18602333666 and shares his/her medical details. After examining medical details of the patient, the call centre will let the poor patient know his/her appointment with one of his nearest specialists free of consulting fee.”
Meanwhile, the VHP leader said that IHL had App so as to ensure availability of blood by the poor and needy people. He also let the media know as to how the women could avail the health service under IHL.
Today’s programme had the presence of Sankardeva Nethralaya medical trustee Dr. Umesh Chandra Sarma, and many others.