CHENNAI: The Department of Rheumatology at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) has been upgraded as an institute, based on the performance report of the department, said Dr R Vimala, dean of Madras Medical College, on Friday.
The department treats about 60 cases in a day. It had treated 633 cases from June 2014 to June 2015.
Speaking to reporters Dr Vimala said, “Based on the performance of the department, the management of the hospital placed a proposal to the State Government.”
The official confirmation on the matter was received in the beginning of this week.
S Rajeswari, head of Rheumatology Department, said, “A separate block will be constructed for rheumatology and the existing lab will be upgraded. The manpower also will be increased with the State funds,” she added.
The department also presented two rare cases. Syadmugamadkasim (23) was suffering from Spondyloarthritidis, a type of a rheumatic disease, which causes arthritis and affects spine and Jeeva (15) with Polyarteritis nodasa (blood vessel inflammation). “These diseases are rare, and out of the 633 cases, we treated in one year, only five were diagnosed with these diseases. There was no solution for these diseases in the conventional line of therapy. But two years ago, the government introduced a costly drug called Biologics in the hospital. It is effective and the condition of these patients improved a lot after with it. Now, the patients can lead a normal life,” said the doctors.
Rheumatic disease is marked by inflammation and pain in the joints, muscles and tissue — which is termed rheumatoid arthritis. In severe cases, the patients cannot walk, move or bend their body and need immediate treatment, or else the disease will turn fatal. It will destroy the body organs, said the doctors.
“A dose of Biologics costs Rs 63, 000 at private hospitals and is free of cost at RGGGH. The doses will be given depending on the severity of the disease. The patient might be on treatment for life, depending on the recurring condition of the problem,” added Dr Rajeswari.