TUTH all set to conduct liver transplant surgery

Kathmandu, July 15

Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital is all set to conduct its first ever liver transplant surgery.

The hospital has been making necessary preparations for conducting liver transplant surgery for the last three years.

According to Dr Deepak Mahara, director of TUTH, the hospital provided especial training to a 22-member team for the purpose. “The team led by surgeon Dr Ramesh Singh Bhandari and some other surgeons was trained in Australia while other team members were sent to India for training,” he added.

TUTH will be the second hospital in the country to launch liver transplant service after Shahid Dharma Bhakta National Transplant Centre, Bhaktapur. Liver transplant surgery has been successfully conducted on three people till date in the country.

Dr Mahara informed that the hospital had completed all preparations for the surgery. “We are planning to conduct liver transplant surgery within a few months.” Having learnt about preparations to conduct liver transplant surgery, some 25 patients have registered their names for the purpose,” he said. “To provide uninterrupted liver transplant service in the country, the hospital is installing necessary equipment. Tomorrow, Minister for Health and Population Upendra Yadav will inaugurate the Post Operation Unit at the hospital,” he informed.

A research shows that approximately 200 Nepali citizens suffer from liver failure a year. Main causes for liver failure are excessive consumption of alcohol, chronic hepatitis and cancer, among other problems. Till date people have to go to India for such surgery and very few people can only afford the treatment expenses. It is believed that liver transplant surgery will be much cheaper in Nepal.

A majority of the liver patients face untimely death due to poor financial condition. It is reported that in India the estimated cost for liver transplant surgery is around Rs 3.2 million. “Liver transplant is a critical surgery. So we will conduct our first liver transplant with the technical support from different institutes of Australia, Singapore and India,” said Dr Ramesh Singh Bandari, liver transplant surgeon.

He said the hospital required technical support to conduct first 10 to 12 transplant surgeries. The surgery will be conducted on adults to reduce risks. The hospital has to seek permission from the Ministry of Health before conducting such surgeries. “Although the ministry provided Rs 11 hundred million to conduct liver transplant surgeries, we could not start the service due to transplant committee’s delay in providing permission,” said Dr Mahara.

OPD services unaffected

KATHMANDU: The ongoing strike of resident doctors has not affected out-patient services at Tribhuvan University teaching Hospital.

According to Dr Deepak Mahara, director of TUTH, the hospital has been providing out-patient services to patients despite absence of resident doctors. “As many as 1,868 patients visited the hospital’s OPD today,” said Dr Mahara, adding, “Senior doctors at the hospital are providing OPD services.”

There are 220 senior doctors nd 300 resident doctors at TUTH. “Senior doctors have been providing OPD services so that patients do not have to return without treatment,” he said. Dr Mahara said that the hospital had asked National Resident Doctors Association to send doctors back to work. “Healthcare falls under essential service. If doctors do not get back to work they will be punished.”

The hospital has also sent copy of the letter sent to NRDA to the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health and Population.