Kolkata hospital ready with introductory offer of a new heart for Rs 6 lakh | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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Kolkata hospital ready with introductory offer of a new heart for Rs 6 lakh

Hindustan Times | By, Kolkata
Sep 13, 2016 11:35 AM IST

Waiting for government approvals for the procedure.

Forty-six years after the first heart transplant surgery in South Africa and eight years after the first such operation in Bengaluru, a team of doctors of a premier private hospital in the city are all set to perform the feat for the first time in eastern India. That is if the state’s health department gives the green signal that is mandatory in such cases.

File photo of a medical team rushing to Thiruvananthapuram airport with the heart to be transplanted to another patient in Kochi.(HT Photo)
File photo of a medical team rushing to Thiruvananthapuram airport with the heart to be transplanted to another patient in Kochi.(HT Photo)

The cost of the operation will be a mere Rs 6 lakh, down from the Rs 30 lakh that patients have to shell out in most hospitals in south India.

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An operation in a Bengaluru hospital in 2008 cost about Rs 40 lakh.

Read: Mumbai records 26th heart transplant, organ flown in from Pune

However this low figure is the introductory cost,, which the hospital is offering to raise awareness. “This is the expenditure for medicine and hospitalisation. We will work out the actual cost later. For the first few cases we will keep the cost around Rs 6 lakh to raise awareness,” said cardio thoracic surgeon Dr Sushan Mukherjee, who will lead a team of 10 doctors for the surgery.

The file is reportedly gathering dust at Shastha Bhavan for the past two months. This at a time when there is a huge push for organ transplants from brain dead patients.

Read: Pune heart reaches Mumbai by road in record 95 minutes to save 14-year old

Mukherjee will perform the operation at Apollo Gleneagles Hospital. The team will wrap up the procedure within the outer limit of four hours and the patient will have to stay in hospital for about 10 days.

Dr P Venugopal was the first to perform a heart transplant in India on August 3, 1994. (HT Photo)
Dr P Venugopal was the first to perform a heart transplant in India on August 3, 1994. (HT Photo)

“We are ready with all the plans with team of doctors, organ transplantation committee, high-end operation theatre equipped with the latest machinery. Around 23 recipients of cadaveric hearts are waiting to undergo the surgery. We have written to the health department requesting its clearance,” Mukherjee told HT.

Read: Why Mumbai, Delhi don’t have a healthy rate of heart transplants

“We have also started the process of contacting relatives of brain dead patients in state-run and private hospitals. The heart condition of the donor will be first thoroughly checked before it is transplanted,” the doctor added.

“If the heart transplant surgery at such low costs is a success works, it will benefit everyone,” said Dr Saroj Mondal, a senior cardiologist from the state-run SSKM Hospital.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Assistant Editor of Hindustan Times, Kolkata. I have spent more than 20 years covering different areas like health, environment, transport, state secretariat and police in Bengal

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