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Times of India
13 September 2010
By Simran Virk
Ludhiana, India

There is good news for those suffering from kidney diseases. The Punjab health system corporation has provided two dialysis machines to the civil hospital. Now, patients will not have to shell out extra money at private hospitals.

In India, about five lakh patients visit hospitals at the end–stage of chronic kidney diseases (CKD). About three to four lakh people are detected with kidney ailments every year. But many leave the treatment mid–way due to the high expenditure.

The facility, which first started at the government hospital in Amritsar in February 2010, has come as a boon for the poor. Here, Rs 750 is charged per sitting.

"The facility introduced at the local civil hospital will surely help people and those who cannot afford costly treatment," said Tejinder Singh, a city resident.

Talking to TOI, one of the staff members at the hospital, said, "Only seven hospitals in Hoshiarpur, Dasua, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Bathinda and Sangrur in the state offer dialysis services."

He further said, "Dialysis machine is mainly used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function due to renal failure. It normally costs Rs 2,000 per dialysis, but it will cost Rs 750 at the civil hospital." Dr Ashok Handa, deputy medical commissioner, said, "We have received two machines. The staff has already undergone training. The service will start withinn this month and Rs 750 will be charged per dialysis."

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