CHENNAI: With a strong medical infrastructure, Chennai has grown as the medical tourism hub along with the emergence of government hospitals offering quality intensive care units, neonatal care, rare surgeries and pre and post-operative care facilities at an affordable cost in the country.
The medical advancements in the city are a contribution from the medicos at various ancient institutions, including The Government General Hospital, Stanley Medical College, Madras Medical College, Adyar Cancer Institute and Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital.
Though surgical procedures cost a minimum of `10,000 to lakhs, it is free for those who have an annual income of below `72,000. The free treatments are provided not only in government but, also in enrolled private hospitals in the city for major treatments such as for cancer treatments, transplants, cardiac surgeries and other operations under the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS).
The scheme applies to the 11 government and 70 private hospitals in Chennai with more than 25,000 beneficiaries.
Though a bypass surgery in other states costs a minimum of around `50,000 for surgical procedures, the procedure is free for Tamil Nadu covers the surgeries, medications, regular checkups.
“The various schemes in the state have a large number of beneficiaries in the city. The Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme offers cash assistance of `18,000 for pregnant and lactating women aged 19 years or more for first two deliveries to provide for the optimal nutrition. As per official records, a total of 25,698 pregnant women received cash assistance of `21.76 crore under Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme in the last two years in Chennai,” said public health director, Dr K. Kolandaisamy.
Chennai operates the ‘108’ ambulance and ‘104’helpline offers free medical advice and assistance to the public. “The ‘102’helpline in Chennai helps pregnant mothers and new mothers reach government hospitals and health centres for regular maternity checkups. Women who have to visit government hospitals regularly have to shell out more than `1000 every month in other cities during pregnancy or for vaccination after pregnancy, but 102 makes it free for them in Chennai,” said project director Dr Ruban.
Though most of the cities in the country need a reform in the field of mental health, the city offers mental health care at a Government Institute of Mental Health for free. The specialised treatment for burns and constructive surgeries is offered at Kilpauk Medical; College and Stanley Medical College and Hospital, respectively at a minimal cost for patients from all over the country.
“It is not just the cost, but also the cost-effectiveness of receiving quality care. Quite a few hospitals in the city are also receiving patients from other countries, including Sri Lanka, Dubai, Kuwait, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The medical fraternity in Chennai attracts a large portion of foreign patients, offering specialized organ transplantations and rare surgeries at a cost,” said senior cardiologist Dr Madan Mohan.