The world crashed for Hemanna (35), a Jalahalli resident, when doctors told him two years ago both his kidneys had failed.
With no government hospital near his home and unable to afford dialysis in private hospitals, Mr. Hemanna had to go all the way from Jalahalli to the Institute of Nephro Urology near K.R. Market.
Much to his relief, a dialysis unit was inaugurated in the government-run K.C. General Hospital in Malleswaram on April 29 last year. This has come as a blessing not only for Mr. Hemanna but also for scores of others in the city's western parts besides patients from villages around the city.
5,532 dialyses so far
“So far, we have performed 5,532 dialyses on 48 patients. All are from the lower strata of society. Our rates are cheaper than what is charged at the Institute of Nephro Urology and a fraction of what private hospitals charge,” said M. Vishwaradhya, Medical Superintendent, K.C. General Hospital.
Started in collaboration with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the unit runs with eight machines in two shifts. “Except Sundays, the unit is open all week. While we charge Rs. 250 for each dialysis, we spend Rs. 600 on consumables and other services for each patient. About half of this amount is reimbursed by the State Government and the rest by us with funds from the Arogya Raksha Samithi,” the doctor said.
Run on donations
Although the Government had promised to add four more machines to the unit, they are yet to come. “The unit is running on donations by philanthropists. Patients referred by these donors are treated for free. We have a waiting list of 56 patients. The additional machines will help us treat more,” Dr. Vishwaradhya said.