Nagpur: Indira Gandhi Government Medical College (IGGMC) may be able to start the cochlear implant operations free of cost for the low income group in near future with the Central government giving a nod for the same under the ‘Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aid or Appliances’ or ADIP scheme.
Cochlear implants can help congenitally deaf children hear. Though the college is yet to get a formal letter in this regard, sources in the college told TOI the Union ministry of health and family welfare had given the nod and the letter would be reaching soon. The college had signed an MoU with the Neeti Clinics in July last year for cochlear implant surgeries to be done by the Neeti team as well as experts from Mumbai like Dr Milind Kirtane from Hinduja Hospital. They are at present training ENT surgeons in city including Dr Madan Kapre and his daughter Dr Gauri Kapre Vaidya at Neeti Clinics in the surgery.
Dr Kapre and IGGMC had signed a MoU under which doctors from Neeti Clinics would diagnose the hearing defect in children from the low income group, perform the surgery at IGGMC and also provide services of audiologists and speech therapists etc free to the patients for about three years, the period required for children born deaf to start speaking. Since to avail the scheme IGGMC was required to have doctors who had performed at least 15 implants, it had to rope in private doctors.
Dr Prakash Wakode, former IGGMC dean and an ENT surgeon, had made efforts to get the scheme for the college. In fact, Dr Kanchan Lanjewar from ENT department at IGGMC is also trained for cochlear implants surgery at Mumbai. Under ADIP, there are two types of beneficiaries. In the first category are persons with income up to Rs15,000 a month who would get the implant free of cost. Persons with income ranging between Rs15-20,000 will get 50% concession on the cost of the implant, which is about Rs5.5 to 6 lakh. The Central government is giving the scheme to certain centres that fulfil all conditions.
Meanwhile, states director of medical education and research Dr Pravin Shingare has told IGGMC he was ready to get the cochlear implant surgeries funded by department of medical education and and research if they could conduct the surgery on their own. “I want all 14 colleges in state to realize that first they should show they are capable of performing a surgery before demanding money for it,” he said.
IN A NUTSHELL
* Beneficiaries can get implant done free of cost in government hospitals under ADIP scheme
* Persons with monthly income between Rs 15-20,000 can get the same at half the cost
* IGGMC to rope in ENT surgeons from all over the country to perform initial surgeries and training of faculty
* Private doctors too join the project in IGGMC to reach the scheme to larger number. They will also give post-operative services free of cost