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Farmers pool money for healthcare

Farmers pool money for healthcare
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Ever heard of farmers having an exclusive healthcare facility that too on par with the corporate hospitals? Certainly no, perhaps, but it’s true. And...

Khammam: Ever heard of farmers having an exclusive healthcare facility that too on par with the corporate hospitals? Certainly no, perhaps, but it’s true. And proudly, Khammam to have such a first-of-its-kind, christened as C Star (Cooperative Star) Hospital, and ready for set off on Saturday.

The aim of the hospital, which is funded by Rythu Sankshema Nidhi Trust, is to extend modern healthcare facility to all 1.60 lakh farmer members of the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACSs) affiliated to the District Cooperative Central Bank (DCCB) at nominal cost. Initially, the Trust pooled Rs 70 lakh collecting Rs 50 from each farmer in 2013. The Trust funds swollen to Rs 8 crore with the membership money collected in last four years.

With funds in hand, the Trust, which is providing financial assistance of Rs 50,000 from group insurance in addition to cremation expenses of Rs 10,000 to the kin of deceased farmers, decided to set up an exclusive hospital to address the healthcare needs of the farmers. The brainchild behind the idea is DCCB Chairman Muvva Vijay Babu.

“Farmers deaths especially due to lack of medical care was a disturbing trend. Moved by this, I wanted to establish a healthcare facility exclusively for farmers on par with the corporate hospitals. The Trust will issue health cards to all its members so that the needy can avail the healthcare at 50 per cent cost,” Vijay Babu said.

To start with, we have chalked out a 100-bedded hospital on rented premises that has six floors with a space of 30,000 square feet, he said. As of now, we have recruited eight specialist doctors of various departments along with paramedical staff. Another seven doctors will be added to present team, he added. So far, the Trust which had spent around Rs 8 crore for the hospital infrastructure, has big plans to procure more sophisticated machinery.

This apart, the Trust has also planned to provide mobile medical care facility to farmers living remote areas. The Trust ordered a specially modelled vehicle that will accommodate all the latest diagnostic equipment, costing around Rs 50 lakh. The Trust is making arrangements to rope in various specialist doctors for the mobile healthcare facility. However, the cooperative-run hospital is aimed at benefitting farmers exclusively, the Trust has decided that general public can also avail the services but on payment of full costs.

Meanwhile, the Trust has made all arrangements for the inauguration of the hospital. Ministers T Harish Rao, Tummala Nageswara Rao, C Laxma Reddy and Pocharam Srinivas Reddy are likely to attend the inauguration.

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