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Offer subsidised services to poor, private hospitals urged

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Minister Panabaka Lakshmi cites high treatment cost of lifestyle diseases







— Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

Heart to heart: Union Minister Panabaka Lakshmi interacting with A.G.K. Gokhale, secretary general, Heart Failure Society of India, at its first annual meeting in Hyderabad on Sunday as K.K. Talwar, society president, looks on.


HYDERABAD: Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Panabaka Lakshmi on Sunday appealed to private hospitals to offer subsidised services to the poor, as part of their social responsibility.

Inaugurating the first national annual conference of the ‘Heart Failure Society’ here, she referred to the high treatment cost of lifestyle diseases while stating that the Centre was setting up AIIMS-type institutions in six States and assisting in upgrading medicare in other States.

Problems of poor



Yet, the tertiary care facilities in the public sector were few and far between. Against such a backdrop, poorer sections, who cannot afford expensive medicare in private hospitals will suffer, the Minister said.

“I would, therefore, also appeal to you to go to their rescue by offering subsidised services, as part of your social responsibility.”

Pointing out that heart failure was one of the many cardio-vascular ailments which assumed epidemic proportions, Ms.Lakshmi, quoting an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study, said cerebral stroke (brain haemorrhage) claimed 6.39 lakh lives and heart diseases 5.54 lakh lives every year.

“What is of greater concern is that these lifestyle diseases are attacking people in the prime of their life,” she observed.

The time had come for the Government and medical fraternity to work together in promoting public awareness so that ailments could be prevented to a large extent through lifestyle changes and medication.

Hypertension, diabetes, smoking, drinking, obesity and sedentary life— all of which lead to cardio-vascular ailments --- could be controlled or modified.

K.K. Talwar, president of the society, referred to the enormity of the problem of cardiovascular diseases in the country and called for an integrated approach in their evaluation and management.

A.G.K.Gokhale, general secretary, Emilio Vanoli, associate professor of cardiology, University of Pavia (Italy), were among the speakers.

Source : http://www.hindu.com/2007/11/05/stories/2007110554260400.htm

Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Nov 05, 2007