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Health Ministry planning to support the poor

Staff Reporter

Minister to hold meeting with private hospital managements

KOCHI: The Health Ministry has proposed a plan to support families below the poverty line by reimbursing the cost of treatment in superspecialty hospitals.

Minister for Health P.K. Sreemathy said she had approved a couple of such cases. However, the Cabinet was yet to decide on it.

She was speaking after inaugurating Lakeshore Heart Centre here on Monday. Ms. Sreemathy said a meeting with the private hospital managements would be convened.

She said the health services in the Government sector were poor owing to the lack of doctors, nurses, medicines, paramedics and other resources. "My dream is to modernise the health services in the State," she said.

High cost

The private medical sector had grown substantially, but the Government sector had not. The poor could not afford the high cost of treatment in superspecialty hospitals.

The Minister lauded the `Hridayapoorvam' scheme of the hospital. The scheme set up in association with the Global Malayalee Trust provides free heart surgery to the poor.

The State had the lowest mortality rate and high life expectancy. However, lifestyle diseases such as heart ailments, cancer and HIV/AIDS have increased the demand for superspecialties, Ms. Sreemathy said.

Minister for Fisheries S. Sarma inaugurated the Catheterisation Laboratory. Yusafali M.A., chairman, Lakeshore Hospital, presided.

C.M. Dinesh Mani, MLA, released a brochure on the heart centre. K.A. Devassy, Maradu grama panchayat president; P.K.R. Warrier, former Professor for Cardiothoracic Surgery, Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram; V. Benny Thomas, president, Indian Medical Association, Kochi; and Mathew Samuel Kalarickal, senior interventional cardiologist, Apollo Hospital, Chennai; spoke.

K.A. Chacko, head of the Department of Cardiology, Lakeshore Hospital, proposed a vote of thanks.

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