The first medical tourist to India from the South Pacific island nation of Nauru, Mathew Fritz (52), thinks he has a mission to accomplish after he returns home. “I have the obligation to tell other people in my country that Chennai is the best place for treatment,” he said.

Apart from continuing his job as a security officer for the sustenance of the nine persons dependent on him, he wants to be a role model for his fellow countrymen who seek medical intervention abroad. Most of his countrymen have been receiving tertiary medical care in Australia as the Micronesian island nation does not have facilities for such treatment. The cost of treatment in Australia is over 7 times that in India where the quality of service is just as fine, says Norman Powell, Adviser to the Department of Health, Nauru. “The Government sends around 50 people for treatment every year to other countries under its medical referral scheme,” he adds. The cost of treatment is around Australian $ 1,00,000 which is borne by the government.

“We found that Chennai had world class medical facilities which offer value for money. Reputation of the city was the main reason for opting for Chennai,” said Mr. Powell. Mr.Fritz was diagnosed with a coronary artery disease with a left main block. After the surgery on July 1, Mr.Fritz is ready to resume normal life.

“We did endoscopic harvesting and grafted his vessels,” said R. Subramanyan, Head of Cardiology, Frontier Lifeline. The anaesthesia team rose to the challenge. “Mr. Fritz has been asked to be active and avoid smoking. He has to be on medication to keep the graft open,” says Dr. Subramanyan. “We look forward to better relations between two nations.” says Prakash Hiremath, a surgeon at the Frontier Lifeline.

Keywords: medical tourism

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