Sir Ganga Ram Hospital starts DOTS centre for free TB treatment, first private hospital to do so in Delhi
The first Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) centre to treat tuberculosis (TB) at no cost in a private hospital of Delhi was started at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SRGH) in Rajinder Nagar, on Wednesday.
Under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme’s (RNTCP) DOTS strategy, people diagnosed with TB are given medicines under supervision for complete cure.
There are about 200 DOTS centres in the city that provide these medicines, but all of them are in government healthcare facilities. Each year, these centres provide medicines to nearly 55,000 people diagnosed with TB in Delhi. Around 18,000 patients have drug-resistant TB and 100 have extensively drug-resistant TB, which take longer to cure and the treatment is costlier.
The SRGH centre will be run on a public-private partnership basis, with the hospital providing the space and trained staff and the government providing the medicines under RNTCP. The tests to diagnose TB will be done in government health facilities.
“This is the first time when a large tertiary care private hospital in Delhi will operate a DOTS centre. The hospital treats several patients from the economically weaker sections and has been referring about 1,300 TB cases to government hospitals every year. That is not to say that the clinic will only be for EWS patients, anybody can go to the centre,” RNTCP state programme officer Dr Ashwini Khanna said.
The centre will also implement the government’s nutritional support programme—Nikshay Poshan Yojna—where a direct benefit transfer of ₹500 will be given to patients for improving the nutritional quotient of their diet.
“This DOTS clinic will provide treatment to patients suffering from all forms of TB. Under the PPP model, the hospital will provide the infrastructure and trained manpower. The medicine and investigations will be provided free by the government under the RNTCP,” said Dr DS Rana, chairman (board of management), SRGH.
With 2.74 million new TB cases in 2017, India accounted for 27% of all global TB cases, according to the WHO Global TB report 2018. India aims to eliminate TB by 2025, five years ahead of the global target.