Better air connectivity will improve medical tourism, say city doctors

City hospitals getting more foreign patients

June 27, 2019 01:08 am | Updated 01:08 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

Chiya Sambat, 50, came all the way from Cambodia to Vijayawada for a heart surgery. The city not only has the requisite expertise, the cost of the procedure, accommodation and other overheads are lower compared to other metros in the country.

Mr. Sambat, who was ready to be discharged was presented to the media in a conference by the Ramesh Group of Hospitals here on Wednesday.

Global patients

Addressing the media, interventional cardiologist and Managing Director of Ramesh Hospitals, P. Ramesh Babu, said 15 heart operations and device closure procedures had been conducted for patients from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Libya, Pakistan, Cambodia and Iraq in recent times. “Medial tourism seems to be picking up in the city with improvement of air connectivity,” Dr. Ramesh Babu said.

Medical facilities and good hospitals for heart surgeries were not available in Cambodia and patients come through a network to get operated here. Suffering from a defect in his heart from the time of birth, Mr. Sambat came here with his wife and niece to undergo the procedure after suffering for 50 years. Cardiothoracic surgeon Benedict Raj said the patient had developed a problem with the lungs over time making the operation very complicated.

Improved tech and doctors’ skills

Devices could be placed to close holes and correct defects in the heart either conventionally by opening the chest or percutaneously (passing catheters through blood vessels) like a stent. With the improvement in technology and doctors’ skills more and more patients are getting devices placed through catheters. Such procedures have higher success rates with short periods of hospitalisation.

“Over 1,500 device closures and heart surgeries were performed successfully on patients that ranged from newly born to elderly by the team,” Paediatric Cardiologist Srinath Reddy said.

Drs. Benedict Raj, Reddy and Nalluri Rhazane conducted the procedure.

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