“I was obese, and didn’t know where to go. I thought will I ever get rid of obesity? A poor person like me, who drives an auto rickshaw, can’t afford the money required for a surgery like this. But, I am thankful to Girish Mahajan, I had come to this health camp with a ray of hope, and today I am a happy man,” says Vikas Phukate, a resident of Nashik.
Vikas Phukate is one of the 40 patients, who was diagnosis as obese and was suggested obesity surgery in the free health check-up camp. A team led by, Dr Raj Gajbhiye, professor and HOD, at Nagpur Medical College, performed the surgery on April 12. This is the first bariatric surgery done in the medical health check-up camp in the state. Blood tests and other required tests were done by Shri Guruji Hospital, Nashik without any cost
Rameshwar Naik, coordinator of the medical camp said, “These kind of medical camps prove beneficial for the poor patients. The surgery which costs around 6-7 lakhs rups, with the help of the government we do it in the minimal cost. After the first Bariatric now we are planning to do 25 more such surgeries in near future”
Investigations and obesity surgery is very expensive and out of a reach for the poor. The surgery costs around 2 to 3 lakhs. But Vikas Phukate didn’t have to pay a single penny, as the surgery was done through the Chief Minister’s medical aid fund.
Obesity is referred to as the mother of all the disease including cancer. And to fight against the epidemic of obesity, the Maharashtra government has proposed, to set up ‘obesity’ surgery centres at all medical colleges in the state. Maharashtra government had also taken up a massive campaign to spread awareness about obesity, in collaboration with the JT foundation across the state.
The free medical check-up camp was held on January 1, 2017, in all, 277 patients from the Nashik district, were screened for obesity by Dr Jayashree Todkar, a well-known Bariatric Surgeon from Pune.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Nashik’s guardian minister Girish Mahajan said, “Vikas Phukate is the lone breadwinner in his family. I am very happy, that doctors successfully performed this surgery. He got a new lease of life after the surgery,”
Nashik’s health check-up camp was one-of-its-kind, initiative organized by Guardian Minister Girish Mahajan.
Sandeep Jadhav, officer on special duty, medical education department said, “We will organise similar camps like this across Maharashtra. Where doctors from private hospitals would participate, this would definitely be helpful for the poor patients who can’t afford medical treatment”