Launching the ambitious “Sneha Sparsha” scheme at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital here on Saturday, state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said children, who need surgery mainly for the four critical ailments, will be screened on the 10th day of every month at the hospital and sent for surgery to the best hospitals of the country, as per advice from experts.
“To make the scheme available for more and more people, a screening will be done at GMCH on the 10th of every month and whoever needs liver, bone marrow and kidney transplant or needs surgery for any heart disease will be sent for treatment to various leading hospitals in the country,” Himanta informed.
Officer on special duty to National Health Mission, Assam, Pomi Baruah said that on the first day itself, 185 children registered for health screening on Saturday.
Himanta said the Assam health department has been silently bearing the expenses for surgeries for selected ailments among the children, which had cost Rs 4 lakh to Rs 30 lakh in each case, and to date, 7,669 children have undergone successful heart surgeries. For heart surgeries, he added that the state government has to bear upto Rs 15 lakh for a case. “Besides them, 50 more children have undergone bone marrow transplant and five went through liver transplant,” the minister added.
He, however, said the scheme will be available irrespective of the child’s family income. “After initial screening at the GMCH, we will take the children to the best healthcare facilities in the country. Whether the child is from a rich or poor family won’t matter. Our door is open for everyone on the 10th day of every month,” Himanta added.
“To express the caring nature of the state, this unique scheme has been launched today (Saturday),” Himanta said, adding that alongwith the battle against Covid-19, the healthcare system has expedited treatment for other diseases too. The minister revealed that the public contribution made to the Assam Arogya Nidhi (AAN) at the time of the pandemic has touched Rs 117 crore and the entire sum will be utilized for buying vaccines for immunization against the novel coronavirus.
He added that from the government’s contribution to the AAN, 187 beneficiaries from economically downtrodden families on Saturday got upto Rs 3 lakh each for medical treatment. Himanta also inaugurated a Cryogenic Oxygen Plant at GMCH. “Liquid oxygen tanks are the most economical way of ensuring bulk supply of oxygen in hospitals. Two such tanks have been commissioned today (Saturday), each with the capacity of 20,000 litres,” he informed.