The State government’s decision of providing a monthly pension of ₹2,500 to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients has come as a solace for those found eligible, but it continues to elude a good number of the over 600 patients in Prakasam district, where fluoride-induced CKD is high.
“I have been undergoing dialysis for the last five years for which I had to sell my cattle. I am perplexed as my name has not been included in the list for payment of assistance,” laments 50-year-old Satyanarayana who is among the 30 of the 70 patients undergoing treatment at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) here.
“Forty patients in RIMS have been sanctioned pension till date,” says medical officer at the dialysis unit K. Krishnarjuna Rao after browsing the website concerned for the latest update.
“After selling away 2 acres of land for ₹4 lakh and exhausting it in the last four years, I was clueless on meeting monthly expenses of ₹10,000 towards transport, food and those medicines unavailable at RIMS from a medical shop elsewhere,” says 55-year-old Nagamma from Chimakurthy.
Any amount of assistance will not suffice given the ever-increasing cost of living and additional medical and transport expenses, opines 32-year-old K.Venkat Rao from Konakanamitla who has been disowned by his family members who have already chipped in with their contributions from all available sources.
Venkat Rao, who runs a tea stall in his village for a living, wants the government to impart appropriate skills to those who can work, besides arranging for soft loans from financial institutions to stand on their own legs.
“I am unable to understand why the government has denied pension for persons undergoing treatment for the last five years but sanctioned it for newcomers in no time,” says 45-year-old Subbaratnamma.
Dr. Usha Rani, District Coordinator for Health Services (DCHS), says each and every eligible patient will get pension sooner or later. The applications are being processed in batches and the details uploaded in the website concerned, she adds.