Assam's Hemo-dialysis centres play Good Samaritan for poor patients

21 public health institutions in the state now provide free treatment for renal diseases

Hemo-dialysis centres under the Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme are rendering yeoman's service in Assam with currently 21 public health institutions providing dialysis for renal diseases to economically-disadvantaged patients across the state.
The programme has been implemented in Assam since mid-2019 in the public-private-partnership mode with Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited, Chennai chose through a detailed selection process by National Health Mission, Assam.
Accordingly, the first dialysis session in Assam was conducted at Swahid Mukunda Kakati Civil Hospital, Nalbari in June 2019. On Tuesday, a dialysis unit under the programme was inaugurated by Assam Cabinet minister Parimal Suklabaidya at SK Roy Civil Hospital in Hailakandi, bringing a new ray of hope for poor patients in the Barak Valley district.
Between 12 and 15 patients will undergo dialysis per day with a total number of five beds at the hospital, which became the 21st public health institution in the state to offer dialysis under the scheme.
"Dialysis for renal disease is costly. Poor patients can ill afford for such a treatment. Under the Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme, poor patients who need dialysis for end-stage renal disease will get access to dialysis free of cost," Suklabaidya said. 
Under the Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme, poor patients who need dialysis for end-stage renal disease will get access to dialysis free of cost," Suklabaidya said.
Every year about 2.2 lakh new patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) get added in India resulting in additional demand for 3.4 crore dialysis every year. With approximately 4,950 dialysis centres, largely in the private sector in India, the demand is less than half met with existing infrastructure. Since every dialysis has an additional expenditure tag of about Rs 2000, it results in a monthly expenditure for patients to the tune of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh annually. 
Glimpse of the program
Image: Glimpse of the program
The minister said that most families have to undertake frequent trips, and often over long distances to access dialysis services, incurring heavy travel costs and loss of wages for the patient and family members accompanying the patient.
"This leads to financial catastrophe for families with such patients. The scheme not only reduces impoverishment on account of out-of-pocket expenditure for patients, making the treatment absolutely free but also cuts down transportation costs," he added.
...Apart from the latest facility, free dialysis services in the state are also provided at SMK Civil Hospital, Nalbari; Mangaldai Civil Hospital, Darrang; Kanaklata Civil Hospital, Sonitpur; Tezpur Medical College & Hospital, Sonitpur; LGB Civil Hospital, Tinsukia; Civil Hospital, Morigaon; District Hospital, Bongaigaon; Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College & Hospital, Barpeta; District Hospital, Sivasagar; Civil Hospital, Dhemaji; Civil Hospital, North Lakhimpur; B P Civil Hospital, Nagaon; 200-bed Civil Hospital, Goalpara; Guwahati Medical College and Hospital; Silchar Medical College and Hospital; Civil Hospital, Dhubri; Assam Medical College and Hospital, Dibrugarh; Jorhat Medical College and Hospital; District Hospital, Karimganj and Diphu Medical College and Hospital, Karbi Anglong.

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