Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on January 7 attended the ceremonial signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the health and family welfare department of the Government of Assam and Rajkot-based Prashanti Medical Services and Research Foundation.
Assam minister of health and family welfare Keshab Mahanta, chief justice of Gauhati high court RM Chhaya, justices of Gauhati high court N Koteswar Singh and Suman Shyam, principal secretary (health) Avinash Joshi and managing trustee of Prashanti Medical Services Foundation Manoj Bhimani were present at the event.
Referring to the signing of the MoU as a new beginning in the Government of Assam’s relentless efforts at providing affordable healthcare services to the state’s residents, CM Sarma expressed his gratitude to the trustees of Prashanti Medical Services and Research Foundation for extending their services for the benefits of the disadvantaged sections of the society.
While addressing the gathering at the event, the chief minister said that people from the financially disadvantaged background and suffering from heart-related ailments generally opt for conventional medicines over more effective surgeries owing to the exorbitant amount of money required for the latter but after this move relief will be provided to a large number of families.
“Under the agreement, while the entire cost of surgery and related treatment of patients would be borne by the Rajkot-based charitable trust, the state government would bear the cost of travelling and miscellaneous expenditures of the patients and their attendants,” Sarma said.
Stating the 2009 agreement with Narayana Hrudalaya which was later extended to local hospitals of Guwahati, the CM said that the uniqueness of the latest agreement was that the state government shall not be paying a single penny for the medical services, except for the travelling and miscellaneous expenditures.
“This makes the agreement one of a kind in the field of healthcare services,” he said.
More than 9,700 heart patients have availed of free surgeries, which are paid for by the Government of Assam, he added.
Sarma also requested the state’s health and family welfare department and Prashanti Medical Services and Research Foundation to explore the possibility of training nurses from the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital’s department of cardiology at the charitable trust’s hospitals at Rajkot and Ahmedabad.
According to the MoU, Sri Sathya Sai Heart Hospitals at Rajkot and Ahmedabad will conduct sophisticated heart surgeries on 500 children and an equal number of adults belonging to the disadvantaged sections of society and requiring treatments within a period of two years, the term duration of the agreement.
Sri Sathya Sai Hospitals are run by the Prashanti Medical Services and Research Foundation, a charitable trust.