Today officials of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) celebrated the successful completion of more than 40 orthopaedic surgeries which were never done here before. The surgeries were performed over the last weekend. The surgeries saw the hospital teaming-up with the Baltimore, Maryland Operation Walk non-governmental organisation which has a mission to enhance the orthopaedic surgical options for patients and orthopaedic surgeons in developing countries.
At a press conference in the Resource Centre of the public hospital, Head of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. David Samaroo, said that a total of 47 surgeries were done with 53 joint replacements. The closest the GPHC has ever come to completing such as feat was over the course of the past four years.
According to Dr. Samaroo, because of the high cost of joint implants it is usually a challenge to conduct as many surgeries. He, however, noted that with the support of Operation Walk, which benefits from “generous donor support”, the needed joints were provided for the surgeries at no cost to patients or the hospital.
At a private institution here in Guyana, Dr. Samaroo said that a joint replacement surgery can cost between $1.5 and $2 million. He, however, noted that at the GPHC patients are afforded this service at a subsidized cost of $200,000.
The patients who benefited from surgery this past weekend will be refunded if they had earlier paid any monies to the hospital, Dr. Samaroo said. The completion of the surgeries has reduced the hospital’s orthopaedic surgery waiting list to about 90 patients which Orthopaedic Surgeon at the GPHC, Dr. Kaaleshwar Ramcharran, believes will continue to decrease with the continued support of Operation Walk.
“It is a tremendous effort and this is our ninth trip that we have done internationally and we have to say that it is one of our most successful trips and part of what made it that way is the efforts here in Georgetown,” said founder and key player behind Operation Walk, Dr. Paul Khanuja, an adult hip and knee replacement surgeon in the Orthopaedic Department of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States.
Other members of the visiting Operation Walk team are co-founder: Maria Khanuja; Dr. Gurpal Bhuller and Dr. Charles Reuland.
According to Dr. Samaroo, forging a relationship with Operation walk started back in 2014. He said that it is moreover very astounding that remarkable results have materialised over the course of the past weekend.
The collaboration between the two organisations was first endorsed by Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Brigadier George Lewis, and both Ministers of Public Health – Ms. Volda Lawrence and Dr. Karen Cummings – at a high level meeting last year.