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Lack of money, knowledge led to 3 swine flu deaths, say doctors

Bharati hospital to start outreach programme for people in fringe villages.

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Lack of finances and knowledge regarding swine flu (H1N1) has resulted in the death of three people on Monday in Haveli and Daund talukas.

The delay in the treatment lead to serious complications, said doctors in the death report submitted to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Most city doctors agree that despite their proximity to Pune, patients coming from rural areas report late for treatment.

“Our experience showed us that despite being close to Pune, the rural population does not have an easy access to basic and specialist healthcare. Lack of finances and knowledge are the main reasons for not seeking timely medical help, which may further aggravate their problems. Keeping this in mind, our hospital has decided to start a rural OPD at Nasrapur. This will help the rural population in seeking medical advice at the earliest and at affordable prices,” said Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director, Bharati Hospital.

The venture dubbed as Institute Family Physician will be the first phase of hospital’s outreach programme to be inaugurated on March 22. “The OPD will be managed by a local family physician Dr Yogesh Khare with 18 years of experience in rural and urban areas. In addition, specialist doctors from Bharati Hospital will be available twice a week,” added Dr Lalwani.

As part of the second phase of the outreach programme, the hospital will also start a mobile health unit. “It involves providing healthcare to people in remote rural areas with the help of a well-equipped health unit. This unit will reach the doorsteps of people in remote areas,” added Dr Lalwani. It will travel for three days in remote areas of Bhor and Velha talukas in a special vehicle that would double up as an OPD.

“The doctor will examine the patients and give them free generic medicines. If they require any investigations or hospitalisation, the unit will bring the patient back to Bharati Hospital. Financially weak patients will be assisted,” said Dr Lalwani.

@alifiyakhan

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