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State Health Department Set For Free Kidney Dialysis In Government Hospitals

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GUWAHATI: From June 14-20 this year, the State Health Department is set to render free-of-cost kidney dialysis. The department is going to make eight such facilities available in as many centres in phase-1 across the State. There will be 18 such centres in phases.

Such succour for patients suffering from kidney-related ailment is possible following a tie-up between the State Health and Family Welfare department and Apollo Hospital under the ‘Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme’.
Making it public before the media here on Tuesday, State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said: “While we’ll provide dialysis machines and other infrastructure, Apollo Hospital will provide the manpower (expertise). Each of the eight hospitals chosen for the facility will have six dialysis machines. One of them will be exclusively reserved for HIV positive patients.”

Sarma said: “Even in government hospitals, per dialysis costs Rs 2,000-3,000. Thus, this free-of-cost dialysis service is going to benefit middle class and poor people. However, there are no specific economic criteria for availing this facility. Those who want to avail this free-of-cost service can to go to one of the eight hospitals. If doctors there prescribe dialysis, they can get it done in any of the dialysis centres.”
Sharing details of the facility, Sarma said: Fairfax India Charitable Trust has provided 105 dialysis machines free of cost. We need to pay Apollo Hospital for the manpower it will provide. The Government of India, on the other hand, is going to reimburse us the amount which we’re going to pay Apollo Hospital.”

According to the Minister, the hospitals where the dialysis machines will be installed in the first phase are: Nalbari, Darrang, Tinsukia, Morigaon, Barpeta, Bongaigaon (one machine each) and Sonitpur (two).

Sarma, however, expressed his worry over the increased cases of kidney-related diseases, these days. He feels that excessive use of chemical fertilizers by commercial vegetable growers in lower and central Assam might have something to do with the increase in such diseases. “The use of fertilizers may increase vegetable yield. We, however, can’t ignore possible health hazards because of this practice,” the Minister said, adding: “We’re contemplating on moving the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) with a request for a research to ascertain if there’s any adverse effect of chemical fertilizers on vegetables in Assam.”

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