A year ago, Dr Fuad Halim gained recognition and got appreciation for providing dialysis services to patients dependent upon it, at a time when the nation-wide Covid lockdown was making access to healthcare difficult for non-Covid patients.
He charges just Rs 50 for the procedure that usually costs anything between Rs 1,200 and Rs 2,000 at most hospitals. His patients, both Covid-positive and non-Covid, are mostly from the economically weaker sections of society.
The ‘Communist doctor’, who is a politician too and is also contesting the ongoing West Bengal assembly polls, is continuing the dialysis services at his small clinic near Park Street in south Kolkata.
In the last seven months, however, Halim has also helped Covid patients in a different way — by donating plasma multiple times.
Halim said he had tested positive for Covid in July last year, and spent two weeks in a hospital ICU, battling for life. Having fully recovered in August, he donated plasma for the first time in September, said the doctor. In the last seven months, the 50-year-old, claims to have donated plasma seven times.
He is yet to get vaccinated against Covid, anyone who receives the dose cannot donate plasma for 28 days from the date of vaccination.
Halim is contesting the Bengal assembly polls as a candidate of the Sanjukta Morcha, an alliance of Congress, CPI(M) and new entrant Indian Secular Front, from south Kolkata’s Ballygunge constituency.