Meet Bengaluru Doctor Who Offers Free Angioplasty to Poor PatientsJanuary 24, 2019 13:20
(Image source from: Facebook/Kiron Varghese)
The epoch when only the affluent can afford quality healthcare in India, a doctor in a hospital in Bengaluru, a city in Karnataka, is offering free angioplasty to the poverty-stricken, who are no less deserving for it.
"I have been wanting to treat the poor free as they can't afford the prohibitive cost of quality treatment," Kiron Varghese, head of cardiology at St John's Medical College & Hospital, told IANS.
The 59-year-old Varghese will perform about 30 angioplasty surgeries on the heart patients of the economically weaker sections over a month, till February 19, with funds raised from doctor’s friends and well-wishers.
Angioplasty involves the insertion of a tube or a stent to widen blocked arteries, which costs about Rs 1-2 lakh at private hospitals.
"As only a limited number of surgeries can be performed with the funds raised, younger patients and breadwinners of their families will get preference for the surgery," said Varghese.
"The arterial blocks are more common among men in the 40-60 age group," added Varghese.
One arterial block of each patient will be cleared through angioplasty so as to benefit the maximum numbers. Patients requiring immediate surgery will be selected through a screening process.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Indians suffer most from cardiovascular diseases worldwide, with a fifth of deaths due to heart ailments in the Indian subcontinent.
The awareness of the dreaded disease is very less in rural areas of India, found a study commissioned by global medical technology trade association Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).
Though the cost of an angioplasty at state-run hospitals is less than in private hospitals, deficit of catheterization laboratories, an examination room with imaging equipment used to visualize arteries of heart, and shortage of skilled cardiologists, make them unable to meet the demand and risk a heart patient's life, said the AdvaMed study released earlier this year.