Govt may train ju­nior docs un­der nat’l dial­y­sis scheme

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | POLITICS POLICY - [email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: With just one nephrol­o­gist for ev­ery 10,000 kid­ney pa­tients, the Cen­tre’s am­bi­tious plan to pro­vide dial­y­sis care in all dis­tricts across the country faces a stiff chal­lenge. To over­come this, the govern­ment plans to train doc­tors and se­nior tech­ni­cians to tackle the in­creas­ing bur­den.

Ac­cord­ing to the In­dian So­ci­ety of Nephrol­ogy, there are around 1,400 nephrol­o­gists across the country, whereas around 120 are added ev­ery year from the country’s premier med­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing AIIMS, PGIMER Chandi­garh and Chris­tian Med­i­cal Col­lege, Vel­lore.

With an alarm­ing rise in di­a­betes among In­di­ans, kid­ney fail­ures have more than dou­bled in the last 15 years. The in­ci­dence of end­stage kid­ney dis­ease is es­ti­mated at 150-230 per mil­lion. About 2,20,000-2,75,000 new pa­tients need re­nal re­place­ment ther­apy ev­ery year.

“We are in talks with in­sti­tu­tions as well as states to ramp up in­fras­truc­ture and fa­cil­i­ties to be able to train more clin­i­cians to con­duct dial­y­sis,” an of­fi­cial in the health min­istry said.

Last week, the health min­istry rolled out the na­tional dial­y­sis care pro­gramme across the country un­der a pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship model. Cur­rently, there are around 5,000 dial­y­sis cen­tres across the country.

Though the govern­ment’s ini­tia­tive has been lauded, the se­vere dearth of nephrol­o­gists to run planned cen­tres has given rise to ap­pre­hen­sion. “Dial­y­sis is a tech­nol­ogy-based ther­apy and re­quires trained clin­ici- ans,” says Dr Sau­rabh Pokhariyal, di­rec­tor and head of de­part­ment, nephrol­ogy and re­nal trans­plant at For­tis Me­mo­rial Re­search In­sti­tute. Ac­cord­ing to Pokhariyal, post MBBS and MD cour­ses with a du­ra­tion of at least two years can be run to pro­duce skilled clin­i­cians.

“Most of the nephrol­o­gists are ei­ther based in south­ern In­dia or in Delhi and Mum­bai. States like Bi­har, West Ben­gal, As­sam and north east are worse of,” says Dr Pradeep Desh­pande, pres­i­dent, In­dian So­ci­ety of Nephrol­ogy.

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