Srinagar: Patients with renal ailments in Kashmir are facing a tough time, with the government failing to come up with any scheme offering any financial help for such patients, especially for those who are living below the poverty line.
As per experts, the cases of renal ailments are on rise in Kashmir, given the change in lifestyle. Amid all this, experts suggest that government should come up with schemes which would cater to the requirements of patients who cannot afford the costly dialysis procedure.
The delicate process of Haemodialysis is incurring huge costs per month, making it unaffordable for those who are not economically sound. Shockingly, so far, the government has been turning a blind eye towards the issue which demands urgent action “For only dialysis, without medicines, it can cost from 15 to 16 thousand rupees to a patient per month, and if you will include medicines, it can go up to 25 thousand rupees,” said Dr Masood ul Hassan, a Dialysis Physician at Well Care Dialysis Center.
The patients who have to undergo dialysis, have to carry on with it for years and for a year, patient undergoing dialysis continuously, has to pay around 2 lakh fifty thousand rupees.
“Yes, if you will included medicines, it can go upto 2 lakh fifty thousand to 3 lac rupees, annually, which is quite a sum for people who are living below poverty line, ”Dr Masood added.
Interestingly, a Public Notice issued by PRO, SKIMS in August this year, states four schemes, out of which three are concerned with Cancer patients, though, one is stated to be Rashtrya Arogya Nidhi (RAN), which, as per the guidelines, bears the expenses of patients living below poverty line and are suffering renal ailments, however, due to lack of awareness on the institutional and governmental level, the scheme is not being availed by the masses.
The number of persons registered, and availing treatment under this scheme at SKIMS could not be ascertained as PRO SKIMS, could not be reached for further details.
As per RAN guidelines, the scheme can be availed at SKIMS, Srinagar only, leaving rest of the hospitals which includes SMHS Srinagar and those in peripheries outside its preview.
While talking to ‘Kashmir Vision,’ Director National Health Mission (NHM), Dr Mohan Singh, while accepting the fact the there are huge costs that the patients have to incur while undergoing dialysis, said that the government is working in this direction swiftly.
“We have begun with the process of setting up dialysis centres, and so far we have provided funds to District Hospital Anantnag, and JLNM Hospital, Rainawari Srinagar,” he said, adding that same is under consideration for rest of the District Hospitals.
Asked, what are the salient features of the scheme for the poor patients who have to undergo haemodialysis, he said that it is going to be a free procedure for such people.
Pertinently, the state government has announced that it will come up with dialysis centres in District hospitals in six months, however, as of now, people with Renal ailments continue to suffer around with no development in this direction so far from the government.