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Microsurgery in districts

Calcutta, Feb. 11: District hospitals would be equipped to perform microsurgery, health department sources said today.

Instruments would be installed this month at hospitals in Howrah and Barasat, headquarters of Howrah and North 24-Parganas districts, to perform minimal invasive surgery to remove a gall bladder stone or an appendix, among other things, said the director of health services, Prabhakar Chatterjee. Other hospitals in district headquarters would be similarly equipped later this year, he added.

This is the first time that microsurgery facilities are being made available to the districts. The Sambhunath Pandit Hospital and the M.R. Bangur Hospital in the city already have microsurgery departments.

The health department will allocate Rs 3.5 lakh to each hospital to buy the necessary instruments, Chatterjee announced at a meeting with the superintendents of all district hospitals in south Bengal this afternoon.

The health services director said he had already asked the hospital superintendents in the south Bengal districts to contact surgeons at the Sambhunath Pandit and Bangur hospitals and gather necessary information on endoscopic surgery.

Chatterjee will leave for north Bengal on Thursday and hold meetings with hospital superintendents in Malda, Raigunj and Balurghat.

“When the hospitals are ready, microsurgery facilities like lapcoli or gall bladder operation will cost a patient about Rs 2,000. Private nursing homes charge Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 for similar operations. This way we will be able to reach out to many patients belonging to the middle and lower income groups,” he said.

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