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  Rare bypass : 90-year-old farmer's heart beats with renewed energy  
  Express, News Service
Jalandhar, September 15
  Ninety-Year-Old Ajaib Singh has received a new lease of life, thanks to surgeous of BBC Heart Care, Pruthi Hospital, Jalandhar, who performed a bypass surgery on his beating heart-reportedly the first operation of its kind in Punjab.

The patient, who was brought to the hospital in a critical condition, suffered cardiac arrest while anaesthesia was being administered and thrice during surgery, said the surgeon. However, the operation was successful and Ajaib Singh, who is a farmer from Amritsar, is making a steady and speedy recovery, added Dr srivastava.

The hospital's Managing Director, Dr CS Pruthi, said after the patient was admitted, attempts were made to first stabilize his condition by administering intravenous medicines and through oxygen inhalation. He was then taken for urgent Angiography which showed 90 percent blockage in the left main coronary artery of his heart.

  This, in addition to other severe blocks in the right and left coronoary arteries, said Dr Pruthi, "Because this condition is life-threatening, argent surgery was recommended," the doctor added.  
  NRIs flock to the city for high-end treatment at low-end costs
  “Medical Tourism” has fast started picking up in Jalandhar, with a large number of NRIs making a beeline for hospitals here. For them a trip to jalandhar serves a dual purpose-getting treatment for serious ailments at a cost which is roughly one-tenth of that in the West and enjoying their holidays along with their families back home in Punjab.  
  This trend has become popular during the Past two years. The reason is simple:enormous hike in the cost of treatment in countries like the US, Canada, Holland the UK makes NRIs look back home.  
  “Many NRI patients come back for treatment as hospitals here have the state-of-the-art medical facilities. “Back Home” factor also gives the NRIs a sense of security. In Fact, these days over 70 percent cases come to India specifically for treatment. The near collapse of the National Health System in the West has made the city a treatment destination,” said Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, Executive Director of the Sigma New Life Heart Institute. He claimed that the heart institute branches at Jalandhar and Ludhiana received nearly 30 NRI patients every month.  
  Dr. Charanjit Singh Pruthi, Managing Director of the BBC Heart Care Centre, said apart from a large number of NRIs who came to the center for check-up, about 15 NRI patients had undergone bypass and open beating heart surgery at this hospital during the past one and a half years.  
  Underlining the reason behind the changing scenario, Dr Pruthi said, “Treatment cost is the biggest factor which has forced NRIs to come here for treatment. If in the UK the cost of bypass surgery is about Rs 8.5 Lakh, here it is something between Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs. 1.75 lakh. Indian doctors are being rated very high even abroad and the NRIs are becoming aware of the professional competence of the Indian doctors.”  
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