"Systematic health care"
It is generally said in this part of the world that one should not climb the steps to the court of law. But now people feel that they should not climb the steps to the hospital either. But due to different reasons, people have to go to the hospital as there is no alternative to that. After the age of 40 years, some long term ailments creep their way into body whose treatment becomes a lifelong headache. Treatment of heart ailments, cancer, high or low sugar level in blood, asthma, tuberculosis, disability, paralysis, mental ailments, besides newly bred diseases like dengue, swine flu is quite expensive. Their treatment is beyond the reach of common man or middle class people. Some surgeries cost as much as Rs 2 to 4 lakh and different tests recommended by the doctors pauperize the patients and their relatives.
In view of this bleak landscape, Rural development minister Jayant Patil developed a scientific method to take care of health through Rajarambapu sugar factory, its other agencies and government’s various schemes. This method is being used to cater to the health care of the people. He has ensured that treatment does not stop just because one does not have money. The regular conduction of health camps, blood donation camps, surgical operations on the serious ailments at a low cost, take care of the health of people in his assembly constituency.
Rajarambapu died of a minor ailment in 1984. This incident gave a rude mental shock to Jayant Patil. Hence he launched a health campaign on the occasion of Bapu’s death anniversary.
Since last 30 years, Rajarambapu Patil memorial health campaign is being implemented all over Sangli district. Total health check-up of all the patients in the district is done during this fortnight. Those diagnosed with health issues get medical treatment. By implementing this programme at village after village, lakhs of people have availed of health facilities all these years. Every year at least 50000 such patients undergo health check-up. Besides, he gets various medical service providers in the different talukas to hold all-disease diagnostic camps where the poor patients are treated free of cost. There are government hospitals. Islampur has sub-district hospital and elsewhere there are big government hospitals. But henceforth we need not depend on these hospitals. Those suffering from dreaded diseases or who face medical emergency need to be shifted fast to the modern hospitals for their treatment. Therefore the help of big private hospitals in the region is sought. Such patients are treated at Sangli, Miraj, Belgaum and Baramati.
Jayant Patil is constantly striving to secure best health services to the members and employees through the sugar mill. He has signed agreements with renowned hospitals in this context and this has benefitted many needy patients from the lower strata of society. Through the efforts of Jayant Patil, a unique Janta Arogya Yojna is being implemented with the help of Belgaum’s K.L.E hospital for the benefit of the members of Rajarambapu sugar mill. Members are charged just one rupee per tonne and out of that heart patients are treated. As many as 788 heart surgeries have been performed in the last few years.
As many as 3000 members and employees of the sugar mill are on medical radar. They are suffering from heart ailments, diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure and their condition is being closely monitored. There are 200 patients who are getting constant medical care to avoid sudden cardiac death. Thus this is the only sugar mill in Maharashtra to implement a planned health care. On a particular day in a week, a K.E.L hospital van comes here. Medical check-up of permanent and new patients is done. There are experts of other diseases too regularly pay visit, do check-ups and treat the patients.
Health department of Sangli Zilla Parishad had conducted health check-up of school children from kindergarten to secondary school. The results were quite revealing. As many as 356 children were diagnosed with congenital heart diseases and it was inferred that 196 children needed to be urgently operated upon. In this context, Jayant Patil spoke to Dr Dixit of K.E.L hospital. He showed readiness to carry out the operations by charging just the cost of surgery. Jayant Patil obtained funds from National Health Campaign and got the children successfully operated upon free of cost. This was for the first time that such a programme was implemented in the country.
In this way, Jayant Patil has undertaken many projects, schemes to deliver health services to the people and make their life comfortable. Projects like health camps provide essential though provisional treatment. Still there is need to evolve a permanent solution to tackle the serious ailments, he felt. He sent for medical experts, interacted with them and studied the issue. He made a plan and accordingly charted out a draft to give shape to his long term health plan. Its successful implementation has ensured long term treatment for the people. Jayant Patil has implemented a unique health service project for the people below poverty line. He has implemented the poverty eradication campaign in the assembly constituency. He knew that their development would not happen without lifting their economic status and accordingly chalked out an action plan. He raised funds from all his societies and through public participation. He used this fund to generate jobs and hold de-addiction camps. He strove to eradicate poverty by generating employment and helping the industries.
Health care of the people in this segment of society was also a part of this campaign. Those who are seriously ill were treated under this scheme. As many as 3127 people in the taluka availed of this scheme. These patients were treated and operated upon at prominent hospitals for heart ailments, cancer, cataract, disability, kidney, brain ailments, spinal cord, appendix, hernia, among others. Gynecological operations, other check-ups and surgeries too were performed. This project has entailed a huge expenditure of Rs 5 crore 2 lakh 7 thousand 740 rupees.
This campaign has 2 ambulances which have benefited over 2000 patients. Realizing that the growing addiction among the youth has become a headache in the society, he carries on a de-addiction campaign.
Astha health counseling and aid centre is run by Mumbai’s Active Society. This centre implements the programme based on how to take care of HIV and AIDS patient. In this context, awareness and sensitization of the youth to the sufferings of fellow human beings is being done. In this manner, all types of systematic health care projects are carried out which is something to be lauded. Such projects and sensitivity for the people is not seen elsewhere and this is what sets Jayant Patil apart from the run of the mill politicians and this fact ought to be underlined.