They have undergone surgeries and treatment worth Rs 5.70 cr free of cost as part of the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana

Mumbai : In the last three months, as many as 2,500 cancer patients in Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital from the below poverty line (BPL) category have undergone surgeries and treatment worth Rs 5.70 crore free of cost as part of the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana.

On a daily basis Tata Hospital is enrolling over 35 to 40 cancer patients under RGJAY, out of which around 30 patients get sanctions on the same day within hours.

“Many a times we get problems in getting through two to three people. But we try our best to provide the sanction,” said Sayed Jafri, Public Relation Officer of Tata Hospital.

On some days the number of patients getting registered under the scheme goes up to 60.

“I got to know about the scheme and I visited here with a very bleak hope. But without any complication, all the formalities were completed within an hour,” said Ashwini Kamble, whose mother is undergoing surgery for esophagus cancer in the hospital and has got an aid of Rs75,000 in just two days under the scheme.

Various patients sounded content with the treatment that they are getting in the hospital, as they were least expecting such a response. They are being provided with free bed in general ward, free nursing, surgeries, anesthesia and regular examinations from the medical practitioners.

They are also being provided with free blood, oxygen, O.T. charges, cost of surgical appliances, medicines and drugs, cost of prosthetic devices, implants, X-ray and diagnostic Tests.

“We would never have afforded such a costly treatment. It’s a blessing for us,” said Kanchan Shah who is undergoing chemotherapy for blood cancer at Tata Hospital.

The inpatients are also being provided with free food, one time transportation cost by state transport or second class rail fare from the hospital to the patient’s residence only.

“We get over 300 food packages from Taj Hotel. The patients are being provided with healthy food, green vegetables and fruits everyday,” said Dr Anil D’ Cruz, Director, Tata Memorial Hospital.

Enrolled cancer patients in the Tata Hospital go and come out without making payment to the hospital subject to procedure covered under the scheme. In instance of non- availability of beds, the facility of cross referral to the nearest another network hospital is to be made available and Arogyamitra is also being provided to the beneficiary.

Also donations are being collected for the patients on the website of Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital. “It’s been a week and we have already collected donation of over Rs 4 lakh from various states and abroad,” said Dr D’Cruz. The hospital is ensuring that 100 percent of the aid is reaching the patient.

“My daughter has got donation of Rs 2 lakh and the hospital is using it for her treatment. They are using every penny after getting a signature from me,” said Archana Singh, mother of two-year-old Kesar, who has cancer in kidney.

Swati Jha

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