In A First, City Corpn To Offer Free Dialysis
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30 October 2010
50-Lakh Initiative Will Benefit 25,000 Patients
In a first of its kind initiative in the country, Chennai Corporation will offer free dialysis to patients with chronic kidney disease at two of its laboratories in Valluvar Kottam and Perambur. Each clinic will have two haemodialysis machines, doctors, technicians and assistants.
The corporation’s plan to set up exclusive dialysis centres at an estimated cost of Rs 50 lakh is likely to benefit 25,000 patients. "Many patients with kidney failure find it hard to pay for weekly dialysis. The labs will serve four to five patients a day. We suggest people make appointments in advance," said mayor S Subramanian at the monthly council meet in Ripon Buildings on Friday. The scheme was announced in the budget in March. The consumables, reagents and other materials would cost the exchequer Rs 18 lakh.
In patients with chronic renal failure, the kidney loses it ability to filter body fluids. During a dialysis procedure, the fluid is passed on to a machine that plays the role of a healthy kidney. According to doctors, there are at least 1,000 new patients in the city requiring dialysis every year. Patients have to undergo two to three dialyses a week, each of which costs at least Rs 650.
Even government hospitals do not offer free dialysis. At most non-profit facilities, patients have to pay for the consumables and reagents used for the cleansing procedure.
Most doctors said they were happy that the civic body was taking up a responsibility that most governments shy away from. "It is a commendable proposal. Not many patients find donors for transplant immediately. At least 20% of the patients die every year, many of them because they cannot afford dialysis," said Dr Georgi Abraham, nephrologist, Madras Medical Mission.
Nungambakkam zone chairman M P Anbudurai suggested the local body extend such facilities to other zones too.