Prominent heart transplant team quits Fortis

Dr. Anvay Mulay, who conducted the first successful heart transplant in 2015, has joined Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital with his team.

Dr. Anvay Mulay, who conducted the first successful heart transplant in 2015, has joined Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital with his team.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Team that did city’s first transplant joins Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation hospital; competition in field grows

The team of doctors that conducted Mumbai’s first successful heart transplant and went on to do nearly 108 transplants at Mulund’s Fortis Hospital has moved to South Mumbai’s Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital. While poaching of prominent doctors is not new for hospitals in the country, Mumbai’s heart transplant field is set to get more competitive with hospitals lining up to conduct the life-saving procedure.

Cardiac transplant surgeon Dr. Anvay Mulay who conducted the first successful heart transplant in 2015, joined Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital last month along with other doctors, including physician assistants, associate consultants and anaesthetists. The team has already carried out its first heart transplant at the South Mumbai hospital, but the recipient died a few days later.

Another South Mumbai centre, Jaslok Hospital on Peddar Road, conducted its first heart transplant on February 8 with surgeon Dr. Hemant Pathare at the helm. The patient, a 51-year-old man, is recovering and is likely to be discharged this week. The latest entrant in the field is Byculla’s Masina Hospital that received a heart transplant licence two weeks ago. With this, Mumbai now has eight centres: Fortis, Global, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani, Jupiter, Nanavati, Jaslok, Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation and Masina, which have licences to conduct heart transplants.

“There is a huge price tag for heart transplants. When more hospitals start doing the procedure, the price automatically comes down,” said cardiac surgeon Dr. Z. Hamdulay, chairman and director of the heart institute at Masina Hospital, which has at least 10 patients from its heart failure clinic as candidates for transplants. Dr. Hamdulay, who is also a transplant consultant at Global Hospital, said heart transplants are not very sophisticated or complex procedures but they need good, state-of-the-art infrastructure.

“When liver transplants were started, their cost went up to ₹40 lakh to ₹45 lakh. But as competition increased, the cost came down to ₹19 lakh,” he said. The cost of a heart transplant goes up to ₹30 lakh. Masina Hospital has priced the procedure at ₹15 lakh, perhaps the lowest in the city.

Chennai-based cardiac anaesthesiologist and critical care specialist Dr. Suresh Rao said sustaining heart transplant programmes is not viable for most hospitals due to the cost of infrastructure. “A few years down the line, only some hospitals will continue with the programme,” said Dr. Rao who is a part of Dr. K.R. Balakrishnan’s heart transplant team that quit Fortis Malar Hospital last year to join MGM Healthcare in Chennai. Since 2010, the team has conducted nearly 350 heart transplants.

The Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital is positive about sustaining the programme with “world-class infrastructure and cutting-edge technology”. “Dr Mulay, who joined us as director of the Centre for Advanced Cardiac Surgery and Heart Transplant comes with more than 35 years of experience and has done the highest number of heart transplants in western India,” said the hospital’s CEO Dr. Tarang Gianchandani.

Correction: The number of transplants was changed from 180 to 108 post publication.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 8:32:55 AM |

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