Three patients underwent dialysis on Tuesday at the VSS Medical College and Hospital here.It was after a year that the facility became functional much to the relief of the poor patients.
The facility was discontinued in August last year after the water plant went haywire. Many kidney patients have reportedly died since they could not afford costly treatment in private hospital.
Besides, the department of Nephrology remained closed for about six months last year after the associate professor went on leave till he was appointed at the Kidney Centre in Cuttack. Although Dr. Bibekananda Kar was appointed, he joined the department some time in December. The closure had raised a lot of hue and cry which forced the Secretary of Department of Health and Family Welfare to direct Prof. Sashi Bhusan Rout and Dr. Chittaranjan Kar to attend to the patients by turns. The arrangement continued for two weeks till Dr Kar joined.
However, in the absence of the water plant, alleged insufficient facilities and untrained staff, dialysis was stopped by Dr. Kar. The Dean and Principal of the VSS Medical College and Hospital Dr. Santosh Kumar Behera finally took up the matter with the State Government and the water plant was repaired.
The patient turnout at the department, as per records of April 2011, was around 4,000, while around 6,000 old patients are required to visit regularly. The number of dialysis performed was between 180 and 200 a month and it was poor patients, unable to afford high cost involved in treatment of kidney-related diseases, who benefited the most.