With advanced medical technology and innovations, the operation cost has drastically increased to a greater extent, making it difficult for people to pay hefty bills during emergency situations. As the medical charges in private hospitals are high, the poverty-stricken people are switching to a local government hospital in the hope that the charges would be less. But sometimes, the expenses can even go high considering the type of treatment provided to a patient.
A survey conducted under the government-sponsored Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram learnt that around 8,000 children in Maharashtra are in danger zone as they need urgent heart procedures. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a meeting spoke to officials in a bid to discuss possible ways to shorten the wait list. A special CM’s fund has been initiated for those who cannot afford the treatment.
A new hospital in Mumbai’s Kharghar will provide free treatment to the patients which will not have any billing counter. The treatments include surgery and medicines, to children suffering from alarming heart ailments. The poverty-stricken people are much happier now with the hospital’s work philosophy. It can accommodate 200 beds.
The hospital is expected to start operations in May, and around 8,000 young cardiac patients across Maharashtra stand to gain big from this Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust.
For your information, BMC-run Sion and KEM hospitals are among the few large public facilities where heart procedures are done at a subsidised fee. The cost of these type of surgeries is expensive private hospitals, ranging up to Rs 10 lakh whereas the government hospitals charge around Rs 1.5 lakh.
Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital located in Kharghar will not charge even a single penny from those who come from economically backward sections of the society which cannot afford to pay for expensive surgeries. Dr Ashish Katewa said, adding that the idea was to offer instant paediatric cardiac care without charging any fee.
“The hospital is almost ready, and we hope to start operations in May,” said Dr Katewa, who heads a similar facility, also called Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
The Kharghar hospital will have two modular operating theatres, two heart-lung machines, a blood bank and 40 ICU beds for post-operative care. “We will also run a nutritional support programme for the patients,” Dr Katewa said. “The trust will cover all the costs, including doctors and staff members’ salaries.”
“We want to treat as many as children with heart conditions as possible. We will not ask whether the child is poor or demand an income certificate from the parents,” Dr Katewa. “The parents can simply walk in with the patients and we will handle the rest.”
Dr Archana Patil who is an additional director at health services (family and welfare), told Mirror that 1,100 officers and 64 civil surgeons were working in 32 districts to identify children who require immediate health care.