Dialysis gets dearer in private hospitals

Rates have shot up to Rs 1500 for dialysis in Ernakulam

Kochi: Dialysis has become a costly affair for patients in and around Ernakulam district with the rates shooting up in private hospitals to as much as Rs 1,500 per dialysis and heavy rush being witnessed in hospitals with relatively low rates.

The major post of solace is the well-equipped General Hospital in the heart of Kochi city where there are 23 machines which offer two dialysis per machine per day. This benefits 46 patients a day. For patients covered by RSBY and Karunya scheme, dialysis is free at the hospital while those not covered are charged only a nominal fee of Rs 100 per dialysis.

Another solace of hope has been the church-run Lisie Hospital in the city which charges as low as Rs 650 for patients under Karunya scheme and Rs 750 for others. However, recently the hospital introduced an additional Rs 300 for the medicinal kit supplied for each dialysis but this has become a burden for a section, especially those coming from the high ranges with relatively weak financial background. “When this amount is charged for each dialysis we find it difficult to move forward,” said Suresh, the relative of a patient.

There are a total of 20 machines at the hospital which conduct 95 dialysis daily. Lisie Hospital, however, offers 4,000 free dialysis per year to very poor patients.

“We found it difficult to meet the expenses of dialysis with '650 and '750 rates. The government is also having one rule for the public sector and another for the private sector which hits us. We are ready to accept liberal financial help from the public to subsidise the newly-charged amount. We are also exploring the possibilities to assist economically weak patients,” said an official of the hospital.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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