We all see many posts on social media. People claiming to have no money for treatment. Here in PGIMER Chandigarh, it’s a regular and common site. People after donating blood, money, food get themselves clicked and post on social media for their vested interests. But here are some people sitting in the system, who mean business yet except the needy ones, no one in the world of lime-lights knows them. They are Medical Social Workers working in the Poor Patient Assistance Cell (PPAC). A team of Four people comprising a doctor knows no time when it comes to helping someone depriving money for the treatment.

Meet this team of Dr Navneet Dhaliwal, Office-in-charge, PPAC, who work beyond the call of duty. In her team Atul Rai, Medical Social Worker; Kaplu Sharma, Medical Social Worker, and Yogesh Vohra. All these four personnel have been working for Poor Patients tirelessly, day and night, be it a Covid or non-Covid. Anyone who requires money for surgery or medicine, For Stent implanting or in case of Trauma; they all work as a team and get the issue sorted at the speed of thought.

While talking to The Daily Guardian, Kaplu Sharma and Atul Rai say, “A person who deprives money shall not deprive treatment and this is our motto. We suggest that if they require financial assistance then get it written by the concerned doctor, we check all the requisites and get the issue sorted. Sometimes, we don’t have time to check the background of the patient and there is an emergency, in that case too, we don’t let treatment halted. We have a list of people with us, who ask us to call them, whenever there is an emergency and money is required as per budget.”

The PPAC has been working to provide financial assistance and guidance to poor and needy patients for treatment at PGIMER, Chandigarh for the last two decades. A look at the last three years’ data will reiterate the Institute’s mandate as in the year 2019-20, 2,858 beneficiaries were provided medical assistance with Rs 1,49,08,944, in 2020-21, 3,248 patients were helped with Rs 1,39,41,066 and in 2021, since 1 April till 25 July, 1,124 patients were benefited with Rs 45,76,145 from Poor Patient Welfare Fund under PPAC.

Navneet Dhaliwal, Officer In-charge, PPAC highlighted, “The donations are received from philanthropists, judicial orders, Corporate Social Responsibility obligations, NGO and Trusts. The Punjab and Haryana HC also directs those penalised by the court to deposit the fines/penalties in the fund.”