TENKASI: Kidney patients undergoing dialysis in government hospitals across the district demanded the government to appoint a nephrologist to handle various complications. They also requested an RNA PCR testing facility for patients to check for hepatitis C virus (HCV).
According to health officials, about 80 patients are undergoing dialysis in the four hospitals — District Government Headquarters Hospital (GHQH), Tenkasi, and GHs in Kadayanallur, Sankarankovil, and Alangulam.
A patient, seeking anonymity, told TNIE, “Though many patients undergo dialysis, not even a single nephrologist has been posted to treat them with kidney-related ailments including renal failure. Because of this, patients are sent to the distant Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital (TvMCH) during an emergency. The Health department should post a nephrologist in GHQH, where the highest number of kidney patients are taking treatment.”
Meanwhile, the patients also said the lack of RNA PCR testing facility in the GHs had led some patients to become positive for HCV. Confirming the same, a doctor from a GH said, “As the GHs do not have this facility, the blood samples of patients are tested in the rapid and ELISA methods, which do not identify HCV during its window period. The infected patients who are not screened in these methods may spread the HCV to other patients and also to dialysis technicians.”
M Ravichandran, Dean of TvMCH, said, “As the HCV patients go through various liver-related complications, we cannot perform various procedures on them including kidney transplant. We, at TvMCH, use separate dialysis set up for such patients to avoid the spread of HCV.” R Jesline, Superintendent of GHQH, told TNIE, that he was taking efforts to bring a nephrologist to the hospital.