11 march 2010
By Malathy Iyer
According to the findings of a three-month-long survey done by the Mumbai Nephrology Group, the average cost of dialysis is Rs 750 in Mumbai against Rs 1,200 in Chennai. “In Lilavati Hospital, where I practise, dialysis costs Rs 1,150, while it costs double in Delhi hospitals,” said Dr Hemant Mehta of the Mumbai Nephrology Group.
He recollects a patient’s son who had taken his mother to Benaras for holiday stating that the cost of dialysis in a private hospital in the north India pilgrim city is Rs 1,700.
Why is Mumbai affordable as against the other cities? Nephrologist Dr Umesh Khanna of the Mumbai Kidney Foundation and the group says charity is one of the biggest reasons. “Mumbai has many charity organisations that offer donations to dialysis centres,” he says.
Secondly, there is the Mumbai dialysis model. Said Dr Khanna, “Mumbai has many standalone dialysis centres that have an affordable model without the overheads that hospitals actually have to pay.”
The Group’s survey states that “satellite dialysis units essentially offer only dialysis facility with no admission facility. They can offer dialysis at a reasonable price by cutting down the overheads. It comprises a full-fledged dialysis centre with 10-20 dialysis machines with isolated machines for hepatitis B and C, RO plant and a resuscitation trolley with monitor & defibrillator. It has trained nurses, technicians and doctors trained in resuscitation of a serious patient.”