Adilabad: It seems that financial crisis is the order of the day at the Centre in terms of a slowdown in the economy, at the state in terms of a huge shortfall in the budget and at the family level in the rural areas in the state in general and old Adilabad district in particular.
Many families affected by seasonal diseases, especially dengue, have spent their life savings on medical treatment and some others took loans to meet their medical expenses.
Dengue cases are on the rise more in urban areas when compared to rural areas in old Adilabad district. Dengue cases are on the rise in Andunaik thanda in Indravelli mandal, Mathura thanda in Utnoor mandal and Kolhari thankda in Gudihathnoor mandal and in the old Adilabad Municipality area.
According to the Health Department, dengue cases are on the rise while viral fevers are under control. The officials say the 30-day special action plan in general practitioner (GP) clinics helped in controlling the fevers, otherwise the situation would have become worse.
Almost all families were hit by seasonal diseases during this rainy season and admitted to private hospitals in addition to the government ones.
It is said that even some people spent their monthly pensions, amounts from the Rythu Bandhu and crop loans on medical treatment during this epidemic season. Some poor people took loans from money lenders by mortgaging their land or gold ornaments to clear the huge medical bills that were incurred by dengue treatment at private hospitals.
According to rough estimations, each family member effected by viral fever is spending Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000 at a local private hospital.
It is estimated that each family is spending Rs 20,000-Rs 40,000 on viral fevers.
The situation is worse if any family members are affected by dengue. Rs 1,750 is charged for a one-time test to confirm platelet count in the blood of patient and this test is being done twice in a day in private hospitals.
It is said that families are spending nearly Rs 25,000 only on tests for platelet count and private hospitals are charging Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 for one pack of platelets.
There are allegations that some private hospitals are cheating the attendants of the patients, asking them to bring three of their relatives to donate blood so that they can extract platelets out of that blood. They use platelets extracted from the blood donated by only one persons and are selling platelets from the other blood samples to other patients.
However, it is common that there would be fluctuations in the platelet count even in the patients affected by malaria and this need not be a worry.
It is said that treatment for dengue was not included in the Arogya Sri list of free services to the people with Arogya Sri cards in the identified hospitals including private ones.
Private hospitals make huge money on dengue treatment with the exaggerated treatment and hiked bills but they can’t charge more than `20,000 for treatment of dengue if the disease would have been included in the Arogya Sri and thus they would stand to lose profits. Poor and middle-class families are selling their assets to save their family members. There are incidents where poor families left the dengue patient to his fate and to the kindness of God as they were unable to afford amount demanded for the treatment.
Doctors at PHCs say there was a shortage of paracetamol, the injection which is the main medicine used in treatment for dengue.
Assistant Malaria Officer of Adilabad Bukka Venkateshwarlu said they have detected five dengue-positive cases in the Adilabad town alone on Saturday and this shows that dengue-positive cases are on the rise. He said that a total of 64 dengue-positive cases were detected in Adilabad district.
Above 500 dengue-positive cases were detected in the old Adilabad district including Nirmal, Mancherial and Asifabad districts.
The highest number of dengue-positive cases (21) were detected in Adilabad Municipality area, 13 were detected under Ankoli PHC, nine under Indravelli and six under Gudihathnoor UPHCs, out of a total of 64 cases in Adilabad district.
Many patients of the old Adilabad district suffering from the symptoms of dengue are going to Yavatmal and Nagpur in Maharashtra and Karimnagar and Hyderabad for treatment.
Dr Naitham Sumalatha of RIMS, Adilabad said 'The ELISA test is the only confirmative test of dengue and there is the facility of the ELISA test at RIMS. Patients can avail the facility and can get treatment for dengue at RIMS'.