A heartfelt initiative undertaken by 'youth icons'
In the city alone, as many as 400 angioplasties are being undertaken at private hospitals each month. Though this is one among the efficient treatments undertaken, it is not affordable, especially for those in the middle and lower-class category.
Aiming to help heart patients belonging to the middle and lower-middle class, Youth Icons, a socially-committed organisation, has been conducting angiograms and angioplasties in association with hospitals at a subsidized rate. Titled ‘Hridayasparshanam’, as many as 16 angioplasties have been conducted under this project.
“It is a tough task for heart patients to survive just on medications. The BPL category has been covered under several schemes by the government. The middle class and lower-middle class are left out. The trouble augments when their treatments are not covered under medical insurance. Hence, such a project has been formulated in association with the Cardiology Department of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Medical College, Kolencherry,” said Henry Austin, chairman of the organisation.
Under the project, 100 patients in the city, whose annual salary is below `2 lakh, will benefit each year. If the angioplasty and angiogram comes to `90,000 to `one lakh in a private hospital, it will cost only around `52,000 under the project. Austin said the project is smoothly running as the medical fraternity is showering abundant support towards the venture. “We buy stents and related hardwares used for the operation in bulk. Under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, the hospitals and companies provide these facilities and they do not take any profit for the equipment. Along with it, we have sponsors too,” he said.
On why most of their associations are with the private hospitals, he said: “We have our own issues. In government hospitals, the patients receives angioplasty based on the priority and not immediacy. And the procedures involved are too complicated. We hardly approached them. It has been one-and-a-half years since the Youth Icons started this venture. With 16 angioplasties, we feel that there is a long way to go. And, 16 cannot be regarded as a high number. We are moving ahead,” said Henry Austin. Apart from health, the Youth Icons, consisting of 150 numbers, are also into reviving sports, especially those which are lying dormant such as shuttle and hockey.