This report was first published in gulfnews.com and has been posted here without any alterations or editing. To read the original report, CLICK HERE

Dubai: Dubai will soon have the first of its kind heart and lung Centre of Excellence, with cutting-edge technology in the private sector where patients will have the possibility of affordable heart and lung transplants.

Phased expansion

Meitra Care Network (MCN) from India, which is an initiative by the UAE-based conglomerate, KEF Healthcare, announced its partnership with Canadian Specialist Hospital (CSH) to launch this centre. The Centre for Excellence will follow a phased augmentation.

Dr KR Balakrishnan, world-renowned expert cardiothoracic surgeon who runs Asia’s most prolific heart and lung transplant programmes in India, will play a key role in this partnership. Dr Balakrishnan is an acknowledged expert in cardiothoracic surgery who has mastered evidence-based approach to health care practices.

Robotics and spinal surgery to be introduced in Phase 2

The centre will have a full spectrum of services, which will be launched in a phased manner. In the first phase, the centre will offer advanced interventional cardiology procedures and electro physiology department. A full-time team from Meitra will also be located at the CSH. In the second phase, the Centre will have a full-fledged cardiac sciences department that will offer all heart-related surgical procedures.

In the second phase, the project will expand to include centres of excellence in Orthopaedics and Robotics surgery. This will also include Advanced Neuroscience department, which will also have a facility for Spine surgeries.

Mechanical heart transplants a definite possibility

Dr Balakrishnan told Gulf News, “We intend to have heart transplants in the subsequent phases, but will begin with artificial and mechanical heart transplants first, to bring relief to patients with congenital heart disease in UAE and the region.”

In order to be a regional hub, the centre of excellence will deploy advanced digital technology will facilitate diversified medical interventions across tele-consultation, telemedicine to diagnosis, critical care to surgical support and advisory.

Cutting edge technology at affordable costs

Commenting on this project, Mohammad Rashid Al Falasi, Chairman of CSH said, “This is a groundbreaking collaboration, and with MCN, the pioneering disruptive medical and health care ecosystem, we will be able to enhance patient-centric care connecting with multiple specialist health care experts and entities from around the world. We will be offering the full spectrum of heart and vascular care services to patients that will complement Dubai’s reputation as a regional health care and medical tourism hub.

He added. “CSH is a reputable acute-cum-critical care hospital catering to the tertiary health care needs of the UAE and the region. Our goal with this collaboration is to create an ever-expanding health care ecosystem, bringing patients and doctors, as well as primary, secondary, tertiary and critical care service providers, under one integrated system. This will reduce downtime and wastage of resources, and result in better utilisation of doctors, laboratories, operation theatres, and health care facilities — to offer the best health care services at an affordable price.”

The collaboration will address a critical gap in health care delivery.

Faizal Kottikollon, the founder and chairman of KEF holdings and the Calicut-based Meitra hospital and MCN said, “We believe MCN has the potential to address the critical gap in collaborative health care supported by technology, and our debut in Dubai with CSH is a milestone in bringing quality global health care to patients in Dubai and the UAE.”

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New Delhi, May 16: The Centre directed Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on Sunday to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga and its tributaries, and focus on their safe disposal and a dignified cremation after corpses were seen floating in these rivers following a spurt in the number of coronavirus cases.

At a review meeting conducted on May 15-16, the Centre said dumping of dead bodies and partially burnt or decomposed corpses in the Ganga and its tributaries has recently been reported, which is "most undesirable and alarming".

"Namami Gange directs states to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga and focus on their safe disposal and providing support for ensuring dignified cremation," the Jal Shakti Ministry said.

The state pollution control boards were directed to monitor the water quality more frequently in consultations with the health departments.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was assigned the task of overall monitoring, providing guidance to the state pollution control boards and taking up advanced analysis in the matter.

Support for cremation needs to be given top priority. Effective implementation of the government orders needs to be ensured. No loss of time should take place in implementation, the ministry said.

An advisory was issued by Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga, to the district magistrates, who are also the chairpersons of the district Ganga committees, on May 11.

This was followed up by a letter the next day to the chief secretaries to prevent the dumping of dead bodies in the river and ensure enforcement of the government guidelines on the cremation of COVID-19 victims.

The letter also advised the states to provide financial assistance as well as regulate the rates for the cremation or burial process.

On May 15, the steps taken in this regard in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were reviewed at a meeting chaired Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, and further action points were decided.

Highlighting the instructions already given, Kumar had called for expeditious action and underscored the need to give equal attention to such incidents in urban and rural areas along the Ganga and other rivers.

"Stopping of dumping of dead bodies as well as their safe disposal and protection of water quality have to be ensured on a war footing. After knowing the progress from the states, the CWC (Central Water Commission), the CPCB and the state pollution control boards would also be giving their feedback and action plans," he had said.

Mishra stated that the situation is being monitored and follow-up action is being taken in several districts such as Unnao, Kanpur rural, Ghazipur and Balia in Uttar Pradesh and Buxar and Saran in Bihar.

However, some cases have also been reported from other districts. He asked the state missions to keep an eye on the situation.

Mishra emphasised the need to strengthen enforcement, maintain vigil and take proactive action to facilitate and support the families for the cremation of the bodies and asked the state missions to specifically report on this.

"If needed, the project directors can assess and also give support to the district Ganga committees for this out of the NMCG funds available with them, while keeping the NMCG informed," he said.

Rajnish Dubey, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development, and Anurag Shrivastav, Principal Secretary, Jal Shakti and Project Director, State Ganga Mission, represented Uttar Pradesh in the meeting.

Shrivastava said all the district magistrates have been alerted about the issue and patrolling is being carried out to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga.

He also informed that 13 crematoria under Namami Gange, in addition to the existing ones, have been made available for the cremation of dead bodies.

It was informed that orders have been issued for financial support for cremations in urban areas. Dubey said similar orders for a financial support of Rs 5,000 have been issued by the Panchayati Raj department for rural areas and the SDRF and other forces have also been asked to carry out patrolling.

Anand Kishore, Principal Secretary, Urban Development and Project Director, State Ganga Mission, Government of Bihar, informed that it has been decided that the cremation or burial expenses of those dying due to COVID-19 will be borne by the state government.

He added that even if the deceased did not have a COVID-positive report but showed symptoms of the disease, the family will be offered this support.

He also said patrolling is being done to prevent further dumping of dead bodies in the river, especially in districts like Buxar and Saran (Chhapra).

CWC Chairman S K Halder informed that they are monitoring the flow and the water quality of the river through their stations and will further increase the frequency.

CPCB Member Secretary Prashant Gargava said the board has forewarned all water monitoring stations along the Ganga and her tributaries. The periodicity of testing the water quality has also been increased.

Debashree Mukherjee, Additional Secretary with the Jal Shakti Ministry, stated that besides an urgent assessment of the risks to the riverside communities by the pollution control boards, there is a need to raise awareness on the dos and don'ts as regards the use of river water and to prevent such incidents of dumping of bodies in the river.