'In 3 months, over 7,300 patients assisted in Srinagar'

The administration here has assisted over 7300 non-COVID health emergencies and ailment cases, with support ranging from free dialysis, transportation, drugs, medical check-ups, chemotherapies and other services, said an official statement.

It said at the onset of COVID19 response, a special helpline was launched by the district administration to take care of existing health issues with special focus on patients suffering from kidney ailments, diabetes, cancer, those requiring dialysis, chemotherapies, anti-diabetic drugs, essential and life-saving drugs, among other listed priorities including pregnancies.

In April, the statement said, the administration launched an IVRS-based call centre aimed at a holistic response to various emergencies and COVID related coordination and addressing public grievances.

A dedicated cell in the call centre was earmarked for non-COVID health issues. More than 7,300 patients have been assisted by the team up to June 1, said the statement.

District Magistrate, Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, who lunched the special initiative, aimed at minimising hardships faced by the patients, said over 7300 patients have been assisted so far, and at free of cost, which includes patients requiring dialysis, chemotherapies, essential medicines, transportation and other requirements.

The statement said dialysis has remained a major demand, with 3,292 patients assisted by the helpline at 12 different designated dialysis centres in the city.

Free medicines were delivered to 1,811 patients by roping in drug control organization, magistrates, police officers, NYC volunteers and zonal officers appointed for various areas, the statement said, adding apart from this, prescribed life-saving and essential drugs were arranged from New Delhi through air cargo on demand and delivered to patients at their doorsteps.

To overcome difficulties thrown by lack of public transport, a dedicated fleet of vehicles was engaged for patient assistance, the statement said.

It said 16 vehicles were deployed for movement of such patients who contacted the call centre. By the end of May, 396 patients availed the transportation assistance while the helpline also attended 39 emergencies including fire incidents, accidents and injuries, said the statement.

At least 107 expecting mothers were also assisted for required medical care. Anti-diabetic drugs and check-ups were availed by 311 patients in the city while 178 cases of chemotherapies were assisted at various health institutions and centres in the city.

The administration pooled resources from several schemes, untied grants, district resources as well as some donations from philanthropists. The dialysis centres also agreed for no-profit-no-loss services for the cases referred by the district administration.

These services were started in view of lockdown announced for COVID19 containment. Patients facing inconvenience due to lockdown were identified and assisted by the administration.

This intervention has been widely appreciated by the public and has been seen as life-saving in several cases, said the statement. “Now with gradual easing of lockdown with relaxations announced in the district, the administration is mulling shifting to routine healthcare response for these patients.”