The bureaucrats and politicians of the city so far need to go abroad to undergo higher treatment, which was an extra burden over the exchequer. The Visakhapatnam Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) will soon provide high-end tertiary healthcare services through public–private partnership (PPP) mode. The hospital also plans to facilitate the most modern medical facilities at an affordable cost to the middle-class patients, who have been going to Hyderabad or Chennai till now. Highly specialised treatments including stem cell therapy, bone marrow transplant, cardiology, gastro, renal, neonatology and paediatric intensive care would be started at the VIMS.

“All these treatments will be done free of cost for the poor at our hospital under the NTR Vaidya Seva scheme. For the middle class patients, the institute will charge the same tariff as listed in the scheme. Moreover, these charges collected from the patients will be again invested in improving facilities unlike the corporate hospitals,” said Dr K Satya Varaprasad, VIMS director. He further said, “We are trying to make the VIMS as an ideal hospital for the middle-class people who don’t like to visit government hospitals and can’t afford corporate ones.

Though we maintain the same hygiene, privacy and ambience as the corporate hospitals, we charge only one-fifth of their cost.” The VIMS has associated with Path Care Labs to offer complete diagnostic services at lowest rates through PPP bidding. It may charge Rs 2,000 for a scan that would cost `8,000 in any other private lab. Similarly, the blood pressure can be checked for as low as Rs 10 per person. The hospital management had discussed various other options as well. Earlier, the government wanted to invest `10 crore for the lab testing equipment. But, it was not considered as a viable choice for the institute as the private players may bribe the lab technicians to spoil the machinery.

Expert team to unfold Uddanam CKD mystery Australia-based George Institute for Global Health will soon establish a kidney research centre at VIMS to study the most mysterious chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Uddanam region of Srikakulam district. Under the guidance of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) members, Australian team of experts are likely to indentify the reasons for the spread of CKD in Uddanam and also may find a solution for the disease in the next three years, said VIMS director.

The CKD that remained a medical enigma since decades was initially considered to affect the people of Uddanam due to the excessive levels of silica in the ground water of that region. However, the health experts and scientists have failed to provide a scientific reason behind this. According to Dr Varaprasad, renal failure is a common phenomenon in case of patients affected with diabetes. The farmers and agricultural workers of Uddanam continued to suffer from the CKD without any other ailments. There was a hypothesis that the pesticides used for cashew plantations could also be a reason for the disease. “The survey has already started at Srikakulam district with the collection of samples and other required data from the region. The members of Delhi based ICMR and George Institute will do the experiments and analysis at our centre.” They will go by their own procedures without any political influence,” he added.  - Deccan Chronicle 


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