Free surgery for minors in 9 Bihar hospitals

The offer of free surgeries is expected to be a boon for those with birth defects

By Our Correspondent in Patna
  • Published 25.11.18, 12:55 AM
  • Updated 25.11.18, 12:55 AM
  • a min read
Health minister Mangal Pandey at the signing of the deal at the State Health Society in Patna on Saturday. Picture by Manoj Kumar

Nine government hospitals will conduct free surgery of patients aged up to 18 years. State health minister Mangal Pandey on Saturday inked a deal with officials of all nine hospitals.

These hospitals are the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-Patna, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Indira Gandhi Institute of Cardiology (IGIC), Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College and Hospital (ANMCH), Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JLMNCH) and Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

State health minister Mangal Pandey inked a deal on Saturday with officials of all the nine hospitals for this.

The hospitals will offer free surgery under the Centre’s Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK). Patients in the age group of 0-18 belonging to any economical background can benefit.

Surgeries for children with birth defects, including those suffering from neural tube defect (spinal abnormality in a child within first four weeks of pregnancy in which the child’s spine fails to close properly), Down Syndrome, cleft lip and palate, talipes (club foot), development dysplasia of the hip and retinopathy of prematurity, would be conducted for free at the nine hospitals.

The surgery cost would be borne by the Centre and the state in 60:40 ratio. Be it hospitalisation or investigation charges, families of the beneficiaries won’t have to pay.

Executive director of the State Health Society, Lokesh Kuamr Singh, said five children were admitted to IGIMS on Saturday to avail free surgeries under the scheme.

A senior health department official said camps will be held to identify the beneficiaries. “As many as 776 mobile health teams at the block level in the state will look for beneficiaries of the free paediatric surgery. The mobile health teams have been provided with doctors, technicians and necessary equipment to conduct the tests. After screening, if any child is found apt for being a beneficiary of the free paediatric surgery, the team will refer them to IGIMS and other government medical college and hospitals for free surgery,” he said.

Apart from free surgery, free screening of diseases of children aged 0-18 years for common diseases and development delays such as attentive deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, learning disorder among others will be conducted at aanganwadis and school level.