In major relief for patients requiring heart bypass surgery, the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here has started a one-time package deal system, which has been implemented from Thursday.
The package - at Rs 54,000, excluding charges for room/ward and lab investigation - will include all required surgical materials and fluids to be arranged by the institute. A patient in the general ward will have to pay Rs 7,000 as procedure charges, while those in a private room will have to pay Rs 14,000. Rs 1,000 will be lab charges and Rs 3,000 for a three-day stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The decision will bring down the cost of the surgery by nearly at the PGIMER as patients usually have to spend a lot, thanks to inflated prices, on surgical items bought even on the PGIMER campus. In private hospitals, the surgery costs nearly Rs 3 lakh.
Under the package system, the PGIMER floats tender to purchase these items in bulk, which brings the cost down. The surgery is performed by the department of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery.
According to an order issued on Thursday by the PGIMER administration, the package deal has been introduced with immediate effect. The institute performs more than 1,200 heart-related surgeries every year, and a large number of them are bypass surgeries.
A move was put forth to introduce the package deal for heart valves too around two years ago, but that never got implemented.
At present, the PGIMER offers package deals in 30 procedures.
The orthopaedics department has already said that it would introduce package deals. The cardiology and the ophthalmology departments were among the first to start package deals, which brought down prices of heart stents and other implants.
What is a bypass surgery?
The heart beats thousands of times each day. In the process, it pumps about 5 million gallons of blood through your body. When one of the heart's arteries gets blocked, and a person has a heart attack, one common procedure is to sew in a new piece of blood vessel to bridge over (bypass) the blockage.
The vessel used to create the bypass is usually one of the several redundant vessels in your body.