During a media conference Wednesday, GPHC’s Chief Executive Officer (ag), Dr Navindranauth Rambaran explained that the operations last weekend were aimed at providing world-class care to patients.
“Over the last month, we have taken away or waivered the cost that was associated with this surgery. Patients previously had to pay the equivalent of $200,000 and with the agreement of consent of the government…We could do these surgeries without cost to the patients. This has removed further hurdles for patients who needed these surgeries,” Dr Rambaran said.
Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr Kaaleshwar Ramcharran highlighted that this type of surgery has been performed in Guyana for about 20 years, showing significant improvement in both primary and revision procedures over time.
He said now that the government has made these surgeries free, major financial burdens will be taken off the backs of many.
“Most of them (patients) would have been going to the Ministry of Health [and] NIS, while some of them tried to finance it themselves. Just to get the revision surgery done, the cost is between $1.5 to $1.8 million and that’s per joint. Remember each patient has two knees and two hips, so some patients would have had two joints done and need a revision to both of those joints. So, you could imagine the financial burden on those patients,” he explained.
Dr Ramcharran disclosed that there is quite a backlog of patients who need the medical intervention. However, in one weekend, 50 of those patients were eliminated from the list.
“We have been logging all our patients in a database and that database presently has 779 patients…We have had about three previous missions [and] they would have done about 150 patients. We would have also done about 150 patients locally and after removing patients who are unfit for one reason or the other for surgery, and patients who would have decided against surgery, we still have about 350 patients awaiting surgery,” Dr Ramcharran noted.
The WOGO team currently visiting Guyana is one of several missions that operate across the United States. Several similar projects are earmarked to benefit patients locally, including the Gift of Life Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in December. (Article and photos extracted from the Department of Public Information)