Health Department to work out modalities

The Health Department will discuss with the State government allocation of a separate fund for free cochlear implant surgery in underprivileged patients.

Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam announced this on Tuesday at a press briefing at Government General Hospital. The department would work out a scheme, after discussing with the Chief Minister. The surgery costs Rs.5 lakh.

The entire expenses could not be covered under the Kalaignar Health Insurance Scheme, which provided insurance cover up to Rs.1 lakh.

The press meet was organised to present the case of nine-year-old Shabana Azmi, who underwent free cochlear implant surgery for the first time at Government General Hospital with a donation from the Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation (TIIC).

Government General Hospital dean J. Mohanasundaram said Star Health and Allied Insurance, which provided insurance cover under the Kalaignar insurance scheme, had come forward to provide Rs.2 lakh for each surgery.

Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj said modalities would be discussed to cover the remaining amount under a separate scheme. Donations from other government departments and philanthropic organisations would also be accepted.

TIIC chairperson Sheela Rani Chunkath and the team of doctors from the Institute of Oto Rhino Laryngology, who performed the surgery, were present on the occasion.