Punjab's poor find Rural Health Scheme of great benefit

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Abohar, June 26 (ANI): The healthcare services initiated by the Central and State Governments in Punjab have helped to provide better health care for the people in rural areas.

The new schemes, which offer free health check-up and treatment, are being extensively patronised by the people.

One such beneficiary is Sunita, a resident of Amritsar district who has been suffering from cardiac disorder. Her family was incapable of meeting the expenses of her treatment.

The Surgical Correction Project, a joint initiative by the State's Health department and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All) of the Central Government helped her to get medical care.

"She had suffered a heart attack. We gave her normal medicines, as we are giving to the poor people. We took her to hospital and got some tests done. We learnt that there was some problem with her valve. We returned home because we did not have money for the treatment. But now she is being treated under the Government's new scheme," said Gurmeet Singh, Sunita's father.

Under the scheme, poor children studying in schools provided free medical check-ups by the state health department.

Children suffering from diseases like polio, defective hearing are referred to short-listed hospitals for treatment.

The staff of the 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' counsel the parents and make them aware about the scheme.

"A survey was carried out and camps were organized in the villages under Government's new scheme. Medicines were provided to the kids who were handicapped, deaf and dumb and were suffering from other diseases and their data was collected under Government's Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan," said Harjinder Singh, BRP and Block source person.

Since the launch of scheme in May 2009, over 100 children were identified and many of whom have been treated at various hospitals, including DMC Heart Institute in Ludhiana.

Many of these children come from disadvantaged families and their parents were hesitant about taking them to specialist hospitals because of the high costs of treatment.

"The boy's arteries were blocked. We took him to many doctors and they asked for 150-200,000 rupees for the treatment. We don't have such money. We have benefited a lot from the government's new scheme," said Birbal Singh, a patient's father.

"In Hero DMC Heart Institute, we perform free surgery if required under the Government's scheme. Moreover, the hospital management has fixed nominal rates for these patients, so that the needy people can benefit from this scheme," said Dr. Gurpreet, Chief Cardiologist at Hero DMC Heart Institute.

The new healthcare scheme has made good healthcare accessible to poor people. By Avtar Singh (ANI)

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