Treatment for APL families in select pvt hospitals at 10 pc of cost

State launches Rajiv Arogya Nidhi; some hospitals lobbying against it.

People belonging to the Above Poverty Line (APL) can now avail themselves of various health services at 180 select government and private hospitals by paying just 10 per cent of the total medical expenses. This has been made possible under the State government’s Rajiv Arogya Nidhi scheme.

In an effort to ease the burden on the common people, over 450 medical procedures would be offered at 180 select government and private hospitals under the scheme, U T Khader, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, said at the launch of Catheration laboratory at the Fortis Hospital here on Thursday.

The minister conceded that some hospitals were “lobbying against” the scheme, creating confusion but asserted that most of them, including a few medical colleges, had agreed to offer the facilities concerned. A government order in this regard had already been issued and a memorandum of understanding would be signed with hospitals soon, he added.

Khader sought to allay the concerns of private hospitals with regard to the implementation of the scheme and said their “interests would be protected.” The government would ensure they do not make any losses, he added.

The minister further said the government would promote medical tourism in the State and sought the support of tourism and transport departments and the Union ministry of civil aviation in this regard. “This way, we can also offer health services to patients from poor countries,” he added.

Khader, who spoke to journalists on the sidelines of the event, said the State would begin the preliminary screening of people to reduce the mortality rate due to non-communicable diseases. A nurse would be deputed and sophisticated equipment installed in each primary health centre to carry out the screening process. Those aged above 35 in the jurisdiction of the PHC would be covered.

Almost 50 per cent of deaths occur due to non-communicable diseases, Khader said, stressing the importance for introducing preventive care. “A routine screening once in six months will also be ensured,” he added. “It has already been started on a pilot basis in Davangere and Dakshina Kannada districts.”

The new cath lab will attend to heart attacks during an emergency. The second lab would act as a standby to the already existing lab at the Fortis Hospital. Dr Keshava R, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Fortis Hospitals, said the hospital catered to over 1,200 angioplasties every year. “Of these, 40 percent are emergency angioplasties,” he said.

The ideal ‘door-to-balloon’ time was 60 minutes for minimal cardiac damage, he said, adding that they hoped to reduce the existing time — 55 minutes — by 15 more minutes.

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