Sikkim’s free health check-up programme a big hit

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catchSikkim’s Comprehensive and Total Checkup for Healthy Sikkim (CATCH) programme is an innovative scheme undertaken by the government.

CATCH is aimed at prevention rather than cure, a cheaper and more effective way to address the healthcare needs of a population than providing for expensive treatment once disease sets in.

Launched in August 2010, CATCH covered 50 percent of the state’s population by the end of 2012.
The aim of CATCH is to ensure a comprehensive check-up on an annual and periodical basis to all people in the state. A database of the health status of individuals would be maintained. Check-ups and healthcare under this programme are provided free of charge.
Currently, one state referral hospital, four district hospitals, 25 primary healthcare (PHC) centres, 147 sub-PHC centres and one medical college function in the state. All of these establishments are working together to implement CATCH.
A detailed medical history of each citizen would be created under CATCH, which can be updated on each annual check-up. A physical check-up, during which a screening of major health problems is done, would be part of the programme. In case a disease is detected, the patient is sent for free consultation.
After the physical check-up, a laboratory investigation is done, and citizens are counselled by an expert on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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