The free dialysis scheme has covered 1,000 patients in Andhra Pradesh
Rahmath Ali Khan is a 67-year-old former teacher who had to spend close to Rs.15,000 per month for dialysis till last year. Another patient, Raghu Ram Reddy, 61, had a tough time paying Rs.1,500 for a session of dialysis at private clinics. Mohammad Mujib is just 34 years old but needs dialysis for the rest of his life. The common thread that binds them all is their inability to afford expensive dialysis at private hospitals.
These days, however, all three patients are a confident lot. “I used to get sick regularly because of bad quality of mineral water at private clinics. Due to free dialysis, in the last two years, I have even managed to save some money,” says Rahmath Ali Khan.
Thanks to Arogyasri dialysis scheme, a public-private partnership that has completed two-years this November, 400 patients are getting free dialysis at Gandhi Hospital and OGH.
All over the State, close to 1,000 patients are covered under this cashless dialysis scheme. Other places where the dialysis centres are operating include Tirupati, Kurnool, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Srikakulam, Anantapur and Vijayawada.
“I lost hope when I was told that I have to undergo dialysis thrice a week. The centre here has given me a new lease of life,” says Raghu Ram Reddy, a regular at the Arogyasri dialysis centre at Gandhi Hospital.
Many patients maintain that there should be a steady supply of erythropoietin injections. “I used to spend anywhere between Rs.18,000 and Rs.20,000 on erythropoietin and dialysis. I am getting them free of cost now. Authorities should make sure that there is no break in supply of erythropoietin,” says Md. Mujib.
“The quality of dialysis here is on par with private hospitals. Infections like hepatitis are common among dialysis patients. Care has been taken here against such cross-infections. The facility has improved the quality of life of patients,” says senior nephrologist Dr. Pradeep Deshpande.