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Health check-up programme yet to gain popularity in Puducherry

More awareness needed: Despite the large number of patients who throng the out patient department of the Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital and Post Graduate Institute every day, not many are aware of the master health check-up programme. —

More awareness needed: Despite the large number of patients who throng the out patient department of the Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital and Post Graduate Institute every day, not many are aware of the master health check-up programme. —   | Photo Credit: Photo : T. Singaravelou

Serena Josephine. M

PUDUCHERRY: The master health check-up programme at Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital and Post Graduate Institute (IGGGH and PGI) is yet to catch up among the public. Despite offering basic medical tests at an affordable rate, the programme lacks patronage.

Launched six years ago at the hospital, the programme has not reached several persons owing to lack of awareness and absence of a separate facility.

To increase its reach, the hospital has planned to upgrade the programme to cover more persons and make it a full-fledged facility.

At present, the programme is being conducted during morning hours from Monday to Friday, except on government holidays. According to a hospital authority, the package includes blood, sugar and urine tests, lipid profile, X-ray chest and ECG, done at a cost of Rs. 250.

From April 2007 to March 2008, 142 persons had attended the programme, while 158 attended it in 2008-2009, he said. From April 2009 , as many as 32 persons benefited out of the programme, he added.

Not many among outpatients in the hospital are aware of programme, sources said. This is despite the fact that the hospital caters for around 3,000 outpatients every day. The institute attends to around 80,000 outpatients every month.

“The hospital receives hundreds of outpatients every day. If there are information boards on the programme, many will attend it. They may even pass on information about it to more people. Basic medical tests are expensive at private hospitals and the poor will benefit from such programmes,” said a person who had come to the outpatient department.

As of now, persons interested in health check-up programme should approach the office of the Resident Medical Officer. A few medical personnel at the hospital felt that a separate facility could be established for the programme.

Plans to upgrade the programme are also on the anvil.

The Medical Superintendent of IGGGH and PGI, V. Govindaraj, said, “Awareness among the public is less. At present, a lone doctor manages the programme and there is no separate facility. We are planning to come up with a booklet on the programme and set up a separate facility. We intend to bring doctors from various specialties and add more tests under the programme.”

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