Padma Shri Dr Mukut Minz, who performed the complicated kidney transplant operation of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, thanked her for trusting an Indian doctor and a government-run hospital for the surgery.
Dr. Minz, who has successfully performed over 3400 kidney transplants in his 30-year-long career, said on Wednesday, “She (Swaraj) could have gone anywhere across the globe for her treatment. I am proud of the fact that she chose an Indian doctor for her surgery.”
In Ranchi to attend a felicitation ceremony organised by the Ranchi Jesuit Society, Dr Minz, who comes from a humble tribal family of Odisha, said that it was indeed an honour and pride not only for him but for the entire Indian doctors’ fraternity.
Soon after her recovery, the Union minister had thanked Dr. Minz through a tweet on December 19. She, however, is yet to meet him since her recovery.
“Thank you very much for my surgery Dr. Minz. I am proud India has surgeon of your eminence in kidney transplant surgery,” her December 19 tweet said.
Many Indian politicians go abroad for medical care. Some Indian doctors’ associations in the past had alleged that it showed their lack of faith on medical facilities and doctors in India.
In 2009, former Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh flew to Singapore for his kidney transplant. In 2011, Congress president Sonia Gandhi underwent a surgery at a New York hospital. Her medical condition, however, was not disclosed.
Dr. Minz was conferred the fourth highest civilian award for his services towards health by President Pranab Mukherjee on April 13.
Talking to the media for the first time since getting the award, Dr. Minz said that there was no added pressure on him while operating the external affairs minister.
“I took it as a challenge. For a doctor, every patient is same. Obviously, this was an exception due to all the media coverage and attention,” he said.
Sharing his experience from the day he got a call from the government of India about his Padma Shri nomination, he said that it took him some time to let it sink in.
“I first called my wife, but she didn’t receive the call. Then I spoke to my son. It took me a while to realize that I had actually won the award. My hard work for the past three decades paid off,” said Dr. Minz.