MUMBAI: Free medicines and treatment offered to poor patients by a private hospital in Mahim which has become the first one to do so with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) after an agreement was signed last week with the civic body.
Officials of P D Hinduja Hospital talked about how their existing MDR TB clinic would be providing treatment to BMC-referred patients or walk-in patients belonging to the poor economic background. Easy access to the anti-TB drugs for patients will be increased by such arrangements, said the BMC officials.
46, 513 patients in Mumbai in 2018 were with drug-sensitive TB which was being treated in private and civic hospitals. Often touted as the ‘TB capital of the world’, Mumbai also had 4.969 patients having multi-drug resistant TB under treatment. But, MDR TB treatment can be as expensive as lakhs of rupees and so isn’t really affordable for all.
Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programmes of the central government was implemented by BMC under which free medicines were distributed and free or subsidized diagnosis was offered to the patients.
Daksha Shah, BMC’s TB Officer spoke about more tie-ups that they are entering so as to bring more patients under treatment at the earliest. She also talked about BMC being in talks with at least 3 private hospitals for the opening of similar clinics.
Joy Chakraborty of Hinduja Hospital said that it will be a gain for the patients coming to Hinduja Hospital as they will get easy access to newer anti-TB drugs like bedaquilines, which isn’t available in the market but is only given by the government.
OPD treatment, not hospitalisation will be pertained by the BMC agreement