Governor Pitches for Common Price Structure in Hospitals, Slams ‘Meaningless’ CSR

Published: 24th March 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2015 08:12 AM   |  A+A-

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HYDERABAD: Expressing serious concern over the unaffordable health care in the country, Governor ESL Narasimhan on Monday wondered why corporate hospitals cannot agree on a common price structure for treating various ailments.

He said it was frightening to know that Hepatitis C spreads through the use of unsterilised needles, intravenous drugs and tattooing. “What can a common man do? Medical professionals have to drill into their own minds that they can’t risk life of a person by doing something unethical,” Narasimhan said while speaking at the launch of a web portal on Hepatitis C (www.hepatitisccure.in), of  the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology.

“Does a patient die of cost, or of the ailment? Why can’t medical care be affordable?” he asked and said that making treatment affordable to people was an important code of ethics. Terming the planting of saplings under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as meaningless, the Governor appealed to the heads of corporate companies to fund health research which is more important.

Chairman of the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology Dr D Nageshwar Reddy said Hepatitis kills more number of people than HIV/AIDS. Announcing a major breakthrough, Reddy said the treatment for Hepatitis C now costs just `60, 000. It used to cost `1 crore in the USA. “Indian Pharmaceutical companies have brought down the cost of the treatment to `60,000. The medical care will be available from Tuesday,” Reddy said.

About the web portal, he said that the objective was to educate people and health care professionals about various aspects of the infection, and the latest developments in the treatment procedures. “Prevention is our main aim,” he said. About 15 million people in our country are infected with Hepatitis C, according to records. But the number could be much more around 20 million.

Though the incidence of the infection is around 1 to 2 percent in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, it is higher in Khammam district of Telangana and East Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, he said, adding, “The incidence rate is around 2.5 to 3 per cent among the tribal population of Andhra Pradesh.”

Hepatitis C infection, if left undetected, leads to chronic liver diseases, including liver cancer. It spreads through blood and other body fluids.

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