NEW DELHI: Ashish D, an unemployed man from Calcutta, could not control his tears when his free dialysis started on Thursday at Gurdwara Bala Sahib kidney dialysis facility in southeast Delhi.
The 41-year-old, whose kidneys are both inoperative, said: “I have been unemployed for eight months and it is difficult to raise my two daughters aged one and ten. I traveled to Delhi from Calcutta for cheap medical treatment, but the government hospitals have a long waiting list. I have spent lakhs rupees in private hospitals in Kolkata, Bengaluru and Delhi. ”
Charities play an important role in bridging the gap created by inadequate public health facilities for the poor. The DGMC deserves praise for this initiative. This is a guide for other similar organizations. But keep in mind that there is no substitute for adequate government investment in public health.
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee (DSGMC) inaugurated the cheapest diagnostic facility in the city on Thursday in Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in central Delhi. A patient from the economically weaker area can have an MRI done there for only Rs 50, while general people can use the service for Rs 800-1,200. A CT scan, digital x-ray and ultrasound facilities are also available.
Registration for diagnostic services on the DSGMC website has started. Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President of the Sikh Panel, said, “Our only purpose is to treat people who cannot afford MRIs elsewhere. We will initially be open 14 hours a day, but plan to be operational around the clock later. ”
The 101-bed free dialysis center, which opened Thursday to mark World Kidney Day, has received nearly 2,500 applications from Delhi and other states. Ashish was one of 18 people who could dialyze for free at the Sikh facility. Another was Raj Kumar Jain, who lives in Delhi and also started free dialysis on Thursday. He explained: “I worked as a driver but had to quit because of my kidney disease. I had to sell my house and two-wheeler to meet my dialysis needs. ”
Gurdwara Bala Sahib Kidney Hospital does not have an accounting desk. “Any patient can register online or have free dialysis,” said Dr. R Venkatesh, director of the facility. “Before we do the dialysis, we first check them for HIV, Covid-19 and hepatitis B and C. Patients from Bengaluru, Punjab and Haryana have registered and confessed that they sold their assets to be treated in private hospitals . ”
The hospital plans to perform 500 dialyses per day in five shifts. The nephrology team is led by Dr. Ambar Chaira headed. In order to relieve the poor patients in the outstation, the hospital asked them to stay in the Gurdwara rooms and eat in the langar.