The Indian Scenario
In India, heart disease has taken on epidemic proportions. According to the WHO projections, heart disease is set to become the biggest killer, crossing all boundaries of gender, class or financial situation.
Rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and now even coronary artery disease are all taking a heavy toll of India��s young population. Most rheumatic heart disease patients are in the fifteen year age group.
Coronary artery surgery, angioplasty heart valve replacement or repair remains the only hope of survival. The prohibitive treatment cost acts as a major deterrent to those seeking corrective treatment. The poorer segment which lack any form of financial support are the worst affected.
Even with surgeons waiving their charges, the treatment charges accrue on account of the cost of the heart valve priced around Rs.50,000/- in addition to the cost of hospitalization, per and post operative care, consumables, medicines and others add up to
another Rs. 50,000/-.It is a cost that the poor can ill afford. Considering the magnitude of the problem the support offered by the government is negligible and the medical insurance is almost non-existent for over 90 percent of the population.
The Genesis of A Cause.
The year 1979, city Mumbai. A breathless, twenty years old from Allahabad, suffering from rheumatic valve disease came to Mumbai. He required an urgent heart valve replacement. Only Surgery could save him. He had no finances. He only had hope and faith and desire to breath.
The hope and faith was fulfilled by a small group of well wishers. The finances were raised. Dr. Devendra Saksena, cardiac surgeon operated on him for free. The surgery gave him new lease of life.
The place, Red Cross society auditorium. A meeting, to felicitate Dr. Saksena for his kindness. Present, like minded individuals including the sheriff of Mumbai, Late Shri Ram Batra, a cardiac surgeon by profession who realized that there were many more such individuals who needed to be helped. He suggested the starting of an institution with the aim of doing precisely that presented the seed money of Rs. 10,000/- to the organization. Christened, the Bombay Medical Aid Foundation.
The Foundation has never looked back since. Philanthropists and dignitaries belonging to various business and religious community have actively joined the foundation along with other individuals who have devoted time and money to strengthen it.
The help and assistance extended by the eminent luminaries has helped the foundation to quit successfully attain its goal. Till date, the foundation has treated and financially aided the treatment of over 20,000 patients from all over India .Over 7000 patient have been extended financial help for other major surgeries.
The Foundation helps and will continue to help deserving patients to undergo heart surgery as well as other major surgeries. However, with escalating treatment cost and falling interest rates the Foundation finds itself Financially Challenged.