There is a growing demand among kidney patients for a government-supported dialysis programme to save the middle class from the burden of costly dialysis at private sector.

While the dialysis scheme under Arogyasri covers only the poor, a vast majority of middle class families end up paying through their noses eventually falling into a debt trap.

On Sunday, scores of kidney patients, who participated in a get-together organised by newly launched Hyderabad Kidney Foundation (HKF), strongly felt the government should reach out to a large cross-section of patients and provide them ‘affordable' dialysis facilities.

Costly affair

“At private hospitals, a dialysis session costs between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 3,000 and patients have to undergo dialysis thrice a week. The patient has to purchase costly erythropoietin-based drugs for recovery. Thanks to the huge cost, families discontinue dialysis leading to patient's death,” says HKF founder Kamal D. Shah.

“Worldwide, governments support dialysis for kidney ailments. Members of HKF should petition authorities to introduce such a scheme in the State. There is no need for dialysis patients to lose heart and give up. A dialysis patient can continue to live productively,” said senior Nephrologist Dr. Gopal Krishna.

Today's meeting dubbed as ‘Ashayein' also marked the formal launch of Hyderabad Kidney Foundation. “HKF is an organised support group to facilitate kidney patients to help each other. The foundation will provide patients an ideal platform to discuss and solve their problems,” Mr. Kamal said. HKF is being supported by NephroPlus, a chain of dialysis centres in twin cities. “There is a need to open more exclusive dialysis centres in the State. Such centres will be able to provide quality service at a less cost,” said Nephroplus MD Vikram Vuppala.

NephroPlus, which has two centres in the twin cities, is providing a dialysis session for only Rs. 1,380.

“The government imposes heavy duties on dialysis equipment, which have to be imported. Authorities should waive duties on life saving medical equipment. Heavy duties are also imposed on imported portable dialysis machines making it unaffordable,” Mr. Shah said.

For details contact: HKF on 040-40048000 or visit

www.hyderabadkidneyfoundation.org.

More In: Hyderabad