Guwahati, Jan 7: Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma today graced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Health & Family Welfare Department of Assam and the Rajkot-based Prashanti Medical Services & Research Foundation, as per which the Sri Sathya Sai Heart Hospitals at Rajkot and Ahmedabad would get sophisticated heart surgeries done on 500 children and an equal number of adults belonging to the disadvantaged sections of the 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 & Research Foundation, a charitable trust, and are the only hospitals in the country where heart surgeries are conducted entirely free of cost.
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, Chief Minister Dr. Sarma expressed his gratitude to the trustees of Prashanti Medical Services & Research Foundation for extending their services for the benefits of the disadvantaged sections of the society.
Stating 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, the Chief Minister exuded confidence the joining of hands by the Government of Assam and the Rajkot-based charitable trust would provide relief to a large number of families.
The CM said 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 traveling and miscellaneous expenditures of the patients and their attendants.
Stating that since 2009, under an agreement with Narayana Hrudalaya, and which was later extended to local hospitals of Guwahati, till date more than 9,700 heart patients have availed free surgeries costs of which are paid by the Government of Assam, the Chief Minister said the uniqueness of today's agreement was that the State government shall not be paying a single penny for the medical services, except for the traveling and miscellaneous expenditures. This makes the agreement one of the kind in the field of healthcare services, the Chief Minister remarked.
Expressing his gratitude to Justice R.M. Chhaya, the Chief Justice of the Guwahati High Court, for floating the idea of Government of Assam joining hands with Prashanti Medical Services & Research Foundation, Chief Minister Dr. Sarma lauded his continuous efforts at the uplift of socio-economic status of disadvantaged sections of the society.
Assam Minister of Health & Family Welfare Keshab Mahanta, Chief Justice of Guwahati High Court R.M. Chhaya, Justices of Guwahati High Court N Koteswar Singh and Suman Shyam, Principal Secretary (Health) Avinash Joshi and Managing Trustee of Prashanti Medical Services Foundation Manoj Bhimani were also present at the event.