For many diabetics in Goa, this years Independence day could mean much more than just a celebration of freedom from foreign rule. Come August 15 2009, the government of Goa proposes to provide free insulin to patients who cannot control the disease with tablets and are having complications and undergoing treatment at the various government hospitals and health centres in Goa.
The health Minister of Goa Mr Vishwajeet Rane disclosed that the initiative was a part of the diabetes care programme which was launched last year in association with Nova Nordisk India Private Limited Bangalore. Nova Nordisk is reported to have screened over 15,000 people across the state and found that over 17 percent were suffering from diabetes.
In the initial stage the talukas of Pernem, Bicholim, Sattari, Canacona and Sanguem and the Cansaulim village in Mormugao are expected to be covered under the free insulin project which is expected to be monitored by a core committee of GMC doctors. A fund of around Rs 3 crore is reportedly been formed to monitor usage of insulin to patients.
Cansaulim in South Goa has been in the meanwhile, found to be having the highest concentration of diabetics patients in Goa with the Nova Nordisk screening programme detecting a high 38 percent of patients who visited the primary health centre during medical camps found to be affected by the disease.
The government of Goa is also planning to set up a comprehensive diabetics registry to document the prevalence of the disease besides screening and treatment of patients and suitable amendments to the Goa public health act would make it liable upon private practitioners to submit details of diabetic patients in their care , to the registry.
Full fledged diabetic clinics are also mooted to be set up at the Goa Medical College and at both the district hospitals in the state. Stating that diabetes patients in Goa are increasing the Minister said that since costs of hospital treatment are very high much help would be given if insulin was available freely to patients and it would thereby assist in making Goa a model state in diabetics care.