Stent making unit for cardiac patients in State urged

Hyderabad: The entire State Assembly on Friday echoed about the imperative need to set up a stent manufacturing unit in the State to check private hospitals from fleecing the cardiac patients by over-charging for the same.

Congress members T Rammohan Reddy, SA Sampathkumar, G Chinna Reddy and Jeevan Reddy,  raised the issue of private and corporate hospitals forcing cardiac patients during question hour to go in for stents even for minor heart ailments.

The members pointed out that as per 2014 records, as many as 18,000 persons died in Telangana state of cardiac arrests. They alleged that the prices of the stents varied from hospital to hospital. While NIMS charged Rs 60,000, the price ranged from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.50 lakh in various hospitals. The disparity in the prices of the stents is mainly because there was no MRP fixed for them.

Earlier the stents used to be imported from abroad, but they were being manufactured in the country, Chinna Reddy pointed out and bemoaned that their quality was not up to the mark. Since 80 per cent of cardiac patients preferred treatment in private or corporate hospitals, these hospitals were fleecing the patients by charging their own rates.

However, the Central government, during February 2017 has fixed a price for the stents and as a result the stent operations in private hospitals have come down drastically, Chinna Reddy explained.

The Congress member further said that since the Telangana government was trying to make Hyderabad City as a Health Hub, a stent manufacturing unit should be set up here to enable the needy cardiac patients to get not only quality stents but also at affordable prices.

He also stressed the need for strict supervision for making available stents at uniform prices in all the hospitals and also constitute a helpline on the lines of the one created by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing agency.

Jeevan Reddy expressed concern over the pathetic condition in NIMS hospitals where according to him ventilators were not available and also there was shortage of beds for emergency cases. This was resulting in the hospital authorities refusing to admit patients, he said and urged the Health Minister to make a surprise visit to the NIMS to initiate needed corrective measures.

Replying to the main question and also on the spate of supplementary questions, Health Minister C. Laxma Reddy tried to allay the concerns of the members regarding cardiac patients being fleeced by the hospitals by overcharging for stents.

He assured that the government would deal firmly with any hospital indulging in overcharging or performing unwanted surgeries. Already 38 hospitals were inspected for ensuring that the stents were made available at a fixed price.

With regard to revamping of facilities in NIMS, he said already 109 ventilators were made available in the hospital apart from increasing 40 emergency beds to 100. The government was also contemplating to establish three or four hospitals on the lines of NIMS in Hyderabad, he added.(NSS)

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