Tiny Nauru Is Big On Healthcare From Chennai
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06 October 2010
The city now has the unique distinction of successfully treating patients from Nauru, the third smallest country in the world. Nauru, situated in the South Pacific, recently sent second batch of patients to the city for heart surgeries. The first patient from Nauru came here in June and underwent a bypass surgery. Mathew Batsiua, the Nauru minister of sports, health and justice, who is in the country to attend the Commonwealth Games, flew to Chennai on Tuesday to visit the K M Cherian Heart Foundation where the three Nauruans are being treated.
Till now, Nauru which has a population of 14,000, used to send patients with lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular problems and hypertension to Australia for treatment.
"After the economic recession, we started looking at cheaper options and after some research decided to send patients to Chennai. We are very happy with the way they are being treated here," said Batsiua. The minister who will be returning to Delhi to encourage the ten athletes from Nauru who are participating in the Games said that while all the Pacific islands extended free basic medical facilities to citizens, they were still not wellequipped to handle major lifestyle diseases.
"I believe that every human being has the right to proper medical treatment and I am happy that two batches of patients from Nauru have been successfully treated here," said Dr K M Cherian, chairman of Frontier Lifeline Hospital.
Batsiua also said that Nauru plans to promote Chennai as a medical tourism destination as the treatment offered here is world class. "Since surgeries costs less in India, even with the additional travelling expenses, Nauru’s ministry of health can now ease the limit on the number of people for whom the government can pay for overseas medical treatment," he said.
A total of four patients from Nauru have been treated in the hospital so far. While one of them had a bypass surgery in June, two came for valve replacement and one was fitted with a pacemaker.