The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A dose of medicare free at Book Fair

Serpentine queues for a medical check-up at the Book Fair' That’s exactly what’s happening this year. The state government’s decision to allow a private hospital to offer medicare to book-lovers has proved successful.

Peerless Hospital & B.K. Roy Research Centre, entrusted with the task of ensuring good health at the fair grounds, has set up a mini-hospital by the Park Street entrance to the fair. Seven members of the hospital staff are manning the equipment.

From an ECG to free tests for blood sugar and blood pressure, book-lovers are getting a thorough check-up for even minor ailments.

“Last weekend, anticipating a chilly afternoon, many persons had their woollens on. But a hot day and long queues caused severe dehydration and even syncope (loss of consciousness) among several people, who have thronged our booth today,” said Peerless medical chief and senior resident doctor (medicine) Sujuti Sarkar.

Apart from the emergency services, the team of doctors is also offering free counsel. “We have had long queues outside the booth, with people asking for medicines after suffering from nausea and all kinds of other problems,” Sarkar added.

Several persons, who suffered minor cuts and bruises at stalls in the fair, are also turning up. Apart from free medical care, the hospital is also offering a 20 per cent discount on follow-up treatment of certain cases at the hospital at a later date.

“Most people are often ignorant about their health. There have been several cases over the past few days where patients have been detected with a major heart ailment during the routine ECG check. We have suggested that these people consult experts at our hospital, and even offered them a discount. The response has been overwhelming,” said the hospital’s vice-president (marketing and administration) Rupak Barua.

Several patients have also been escorted out of the fair to a nearby hospital in an ambulance. “I guess they did not anticipate the heat. Even we did not think there would be these long queues, but we are glad to be able to cater to everyone’s needs. Our hearty thanks to the state government for allowing us to set up the medical centre at the Book Fair,” added Barua.

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