It’s like asking patients to survive on rice porridge or gruel by consuming twice a week. The patient may survive but the sickness and other health complications will continue.

This is the situation in which chronic kidney ailment patients, utilising government-run free Arogyasri dialysis, find themselves in.

Inadequate facilities

Inadequate dialysis facilities in government hospitals are forcing patients to opt for cheaper dialysis options outside which are making them prone to infections.

Arogyasri dialysis patients have also complained that medical equipment like tubing, dialysers and filters are not changed frequently, which poses a high risk of infections.

Ideally, chronic kidney patients need anywhere between three to four sessions of dialysis in a week. Patients enrolled under the Arogyasri scheme can just have two dialysis sessions of two hours each in a week.

“We are grateful that the government is providing free dialysis. But, two dialysis sessions a week are not enough and due to that, I am going to a private clinic for one more dialysis session. There is a constant fear of infection because health workers here tend to reuse certain equipments like dialysis tubes and dialysers, which are supposed to be discarded,” says Md. Akram, a kidney patient at Gandhi Hospital.

Due to weak immunity levels, chronic renal patients, especially those under dialysis, are at a high risk of catching infections.

Several Arogyasree dialysis patients have said that the dialysis equipment like dialyzers, component parts such as tubing and filters are being used multiple times.

Unsafe practices

“There are occasions when the dialysers, which should be used only for one month by only one patient, are being used for three months. Because of such unsafe practices, fluids started getting accumulated in my body and that’s when I decided to stop using Arogyasri dialysis facility,” says another patient.

Many patients have also complained about lack of supply of erythropoietin drugs for them under Arogyasri dialysis.

Almost all dialysis patients are anaemic and after each dialysis session, it is mandatory for such patients to consume erythropoietin tablets to normalise red blood cells levels. Arogyasree dialysis patients are given free erythropoietin once a month.

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