The nationally-acclaimed Haemophilia Treatment Centre (HTC) at New Civil Hospital (NCH) in Surat is struggling to continue its medical services, due to lack of funds. The centre’s five year contract with ESSR Steel, which funds the salaries of the medical staff, had ended in April. The NCH authorities have written and appealed to the multinational companies at Hazira for funding under CSR activities and have also sought financial help from state government.
The HTC was started by Dr MK Wadhel, who was the medical superintendent at the New Civil hospital. The centre was started with an MoU for five years with ESSR steel to take care of salaries of the medical teams deployed in the centre . The medicines and other medical needs are taken care by state government. Since its existence, 555 patients have registered at the centre and they come regularly to take treatment in the hospital. According to the MoU, the ESSR steel had been sponsoring around Rs 16 lakh per year for the salaries of nine medical staff including two doctors.
After the contract period ended in April, 2020, Laxmipati Majumdar trust in Surat has been taking care of the salaries of the medical staff and they are struggling to continue providing funds.
Dr MK Wadhel, who is also the Officer on Special Duty at NCH, said, “Among those registered patients, majority are children suffering from Haemophilia. The treatment is costly, as a result of which, people from middle class or lower class cannot afford it. So we had started the centre were treatment is done for free to those patients coming from entire south Gujarat. Regular episodes of blood are given to the patients at the centre. The centre remains open day and night.”
He added, “A private trust is presently helping us, but we know that it cannot continue for more time. So we have written to multinational giant companies at Hazira like ONGC, Reliance and ESSR, and also to the state government to help us to continue the centre. A single episode costs between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000.”
Dr MK Wadhel further said, “Hemophilia patient has bleeding disorder, in which the blood does not clot properly. It can also lead to the spontaneous bleeding as well as bleeding following injuries or surgery. Haemophilia patients have low levels of either factor 8 or factor 9. The severity of hemophilia in a patient is determined by the amount of factor in the blood. The lower the amount of the factor, the more likely it is that bleeding will occur which can lead to serious health problems. The best way to treat hemophilia is to replace the missing blood clotting factor so that the blood can clot properly. This is done by infusing (administering through a vein) commercially prepared factor concentrates.”
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