2 dozen kids wait for treatment under RBSK in Uttarakhand

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2 dozen kids wait for treatment under RBSK in UttarakhandDEHRADUN: About two dozen anxious parents are waiting for heart surgeries of their children under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram (RBSK) in Uttarakhand from the past one month.

The private hospitals have stopped free treatment under RBSK to children with chronic ailments, including heart diseases, as the department is yet to renew the contract with the private hospitals under which free treatment is provided to children between 0 and 18 years for four Ds — defects at birth, diseases, deficiencies and development delays, including disabilities.

Around 30 diseases are covered in the scheme. Children diagnosed with illnesses receive follow up, including surgeries at tertiary level, free of cost under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)’s RBSK.

Sharing their fears, Mohmmad Zalis and Razia from Haldwani, said, “Our son is just 1 month old and desperately needs medical attention. There is a hole in his heart and the valves are not fit due to which he is struggling to survive. With each passing day his condition is deteriorating. Doctors advised us to take him to Delhi but we don’t have that much money.”

There are four District Early Intervention Centres (DEICs) in Uttarakhand in Almora, Roorkee, Dehradun and Haldwani. According to TOI sources, DEIC Haldwani has pending file of 17 children those are in want of quick heart treatment.

TOI spoke to another patient, Ravi Kumar from Kotdwar, whose one-week-old son has undergone surgery in a private hospital to rectify Neural Tube Defect but now, he is being shifted from ICU to general ward. He said, “The hospital administration is not listening to us. They are either sending patients back to DEICs demanding money for the free treatments. Only because RBSK is yet not renewed in the state, the hospital authorities are seeking Rs 60,000. We are poor and it’s impossible for us to pay.”

In 2017-18, under RBSK around 15 lakh children from the state were scanned for 30 diseases and 1,019 surgeries were performed.

While in 2016-17, 443 surgeries were conducted and a total 666 surgeries were performed in 2015-16. Besides 650 other minor surgeries, maximum surgeries were related to heart (134) followed by hearing impairment (76).

In-charge director of national health programmes, Dr Anjali Nautiyal, said, “Very soon the MoU will be signed. However, at present there is no problem.”

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