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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Heart-felt thanks to Chief Minister, say beneficiaries


VILLUPURAM: Over 50 beneficiaries of the Children Heart Protection Scheme met District Collector R.Palanisamy here recently and thanked him and Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi for having arranged for the free surgeries.

Their parents, who were mostly living below the poverty line, were moved to tears as they felt that but for the scheme they would have lost their wards because their economic status would not have permitted them to go for such expensive surgeries.

The Collector told presspersons that the scheme envisaged periodical screening of the school-going children for heart ailments and rendering appropriate medical support.

For the purpose the government had entered into a memorandum of understanding with 20 hospitals across the State. The health camps for the purpose were being organised in schools on Thursdays.

Under the scheme the government would extend financial assistance as follows: Rs 30,000 for ordinary treatment, Rs 50,000 for minor open heart surgery and Rs 1 lakh for major open heart surgery. In the past seven months as many as 174 children with heart ailments were identified and of them 132 were selected for surgical intervention. The specialists armed with echocardiogram from the Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences and Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai, examined these children.

Fifty-one of them were operated upon and the remaining would be treated soon, the Collector said. He further said that during the health camp conducted under the ‘Varumun Kappom Thittam,’ two school drop-outs were found to be suffering from heart problems. Hence, they were readmitted to schools and the benefits under the Heart Protection Scheme were extended to them. The Collector further said that the school-going children of those parents whose annual income did not exceed Rs 50,000 were eligible for such medical assistance.

Till now Rs. 25 lakh had been spent on this score and the schedule for performing surgeries for remaining children had been drawn up, the Collector added.

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