30 March 2010
Patients May Be Shifted To District Hospital
The state is in for a shock: the Bagalkot centre of the Freedom Foundation for HIV–affected persons will close down on Wednesday. The Foundation had set up four hospitals across South India two years ago, to curb the spread of HIV in the region. They were established at Bagalkot (Karnataka), Guntur and Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh) and Tiruchi (Tamil Nadu).
The US–based Global Foundation For AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) had given financial support for the treatment of patients suffering from these three major diseases. A Chennai–based voluntary organization, Population of India, took help from the Foundation to set up these hospitals, which came as a boon to HIV–infected persons. The Bagalkot hospital, which started out in a rented house in Godi, on Muchakhandi Road, served patients from North Karnataka. The hospital had a 50–bed capacity. More than 4,157 HIV–affected people have been treated in this hospital till today, but fatalities have been a mere 400.
The main reason for the hospital shutting down is that GFATM announced that it would discontinue funding. The agreement contract was not renewed from March 31, 2010. The closure procedure began on March 15, with patients being shifted to the government hospital. Equipment worth Rs 30 lakh was returned to the parent organization. It has also affected 32 staff working here, but it’s the patients who are worst hit. While the government is thinking of opening a separate section in the district hospital, it remains to be seen if these patients can be served round the clock and as efficiently.
Several NGOs, social workers and industrialists approached the elected representatives to keep the hospital going, but till today, there has been no response from the authorities.
Source: Times of India
Friday, Mar 24th
Last update:05:44:44 AM IST