Rela Hospital expects uptick in elective surgeries, transplants

NARAYANAN V Chennai | Updated on June 18, 2021

Amid sharp drop in fresh Covid cases in Tamil Nadu

Chennai-based multi-super specialty hospital and quaternary care service provider Rela Hospital expects a significant spike in elective surgeries and transplants amid a sharp drop in the number of fresh Covid-19 cases in the state.

“On the non-Covid side, procedures including electives, transplants among others, we have already reached 70-80% levels. It may even go up to 120% per cent in a few weeks' time once the Covid cases comes down significantly,” Dr Ilankumaran Kaliamoorthy, CEO & Senior Consultant, Rela Hospital told BusinessLine. “A month ago, if we had 200 Covid patients now we only have 40 patients, so the Covid numbers are significantly dropping which is very positive. There will be a possibility of good recovery in non-Covid side in terms of patient movement,” he added.

Founded by renowned liver transplant surgeon Prof. Mohamed Rela in September 2018, Dr. Rela Institute & Medical Centre is a 450-bed facility with 130 critical-care beds, nine operating rooms and state-of-the art reference laboratories and radiology services. The hospital, which especially focuses on care of the critically ill and multi-organ transplantation patients, houses one of the world’s largest dedicated liver intensive care units.

International patients

Prior to Covid, international patients constituted 25-30 per cent of 300 plus transplants done at Rela Hospital every year. But the Covid-led lockdown and international travel restrictions led to a sharp drop in international patient footfall.

However, Kaliamoorthy said there is a huge pent-up demand for transplants and other elective surgeries among the international patient community. “There are plenty of patients waiting abroad to get the transplant procedures done so there will be a surge in the numbers once the travel restrictions are eased. We are already getting a lot of queries from patients abroad,” Kaliamoorthy added.

“That is what we have seen between Covid first and second waves where we were required to operate on-and-a-half times more than our routine surgeries in those few months,” he added.

Rela Hospital has so far treated over 12,000 Covid patients including 5,000 in-patients as on date. Kaliamoorthy said that the hospital is well prepared to handle another wave of Covid if it happens.

“We have learnt a lot from Covid first and second waves. There are reports that children could be more vulnerable in the next wave, so we have already prepared our pediatrics unit, training more pediatric nurses and doing a lot of research on this subject to keep ourselves prepared for the third wave,” he added.

Published on June 18, 2021

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