Dubai: People from UAE in need of organ transplant will now be able to avail the facilities of Meitra Hospital Calicut, India, which has entered into a partnership with with MGM Health Care India to set up a regional hub for advanced multi-organ transplant.
Mietra Hospital, owned by the UAE-based conglomerate KEF Holdings, is the organisation behind KEF Health care that launched the Meitra Care Network on February 13.
Reaching beyond borders through technology
The Meitra Care Network (MCN) connects patients with health care service providers through technology and brings them to the doorsteps of patients. This also means that a UAE resident in need of an organ transplant (mainly heart, lung and liver) can connect with the hospital on the care network and be an eligible candidate. MGM Health care is a reputed Centre for Excellence for heart and vascular care offering heart and lung transplants, mechanical circulatory support devices for failing hearts, and single lung retrieval and transplant.
Highest number of heart lung transplant record in Asia
Already, the partner, MGM Health care has catered to several patients from the Middle East and UAE requiring heart or lung transplants and other related health care support.
The Liver Transplant Programme, under Meitra Hospital’s Centre of Excellence for Gastro Sciences, on the other hand, will deliver advanced liver transplant services through a multidisciplinary transplantation team that comprises dedicated transplant surgeons, gastroenterologists, anaesthetists, intensivists, perfusionists, technicians, and nurses.
The programmes will be developed by an expert team headed by Dr KR Balakrishnan, who holds the record for having conducted the highest number of heart and lung transplants in Asia (a total of 375 heart and lung transplants). Dr Balakrishnan is also credited with performing many first-of-its-kind heart surgeries in India. On the liver transplant programme, Dr Thiagarajan Srinivasan heading the lier transplant programme, has personal experience of more than 1,700 liver transplants and cumulative experience of more than 3,500 liver transplants.
High rate of success at low costs
Overall, India ranks third in the world after the US and China in number of organs transplanted in 2019, according to WHO Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation (GODT). The country also continues to be one of the most preferred destinations for Medical Value Tourism (MVT), occupying sixth position among 46 major medical tourism destinations, as per the Medical Tourism Index’s overall ranking in 2021. Notably, a significant source of the medical tourists come from the Middle East.
Using American health care costs as benchmark, Patients Beyond Borders estimates that in India, the savings on transplant costs starts from 65 per cent and goes up to 90 per cent with patients receiving high quality care. “A heart transplant in the US can starts from $100,000 with a two-year waiting list for foreigners. In India, we have a three-month waiting window for foreigners and the cost for the same transplant can start from $5,000. This is why a large percentage of my patients also come from the UAE and the Middle East. Medical technology and treatment protocols have greatly evolved over the past few years. Ensuring that patients get the best that medical science has to offer through our partnership with Meitra Hospital is our primary goal,” Dr Balakrishnan said.