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Heart Patients Receive Free Surgery

September 02
20:11 2014

Life for 58-year-old Ezekiel will be easy-going from now after he underwent free heart surgery last week at the Lautoka Hospital.

His wife Tilda said they were grateful to the cardio surgeons who came from New Zealand to operate on the patients free of charge

“This is costly; I appreciate that my husband has gone through the surgery,” Ms Tilda said.

The Chairman of the Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation, Craig Strong. Photo: Nandni Vandhana

“He was in constant pain and now he will be able to live a normal life.”

The couple travelled from Tabataba in Ba for the operation.

A team of 60 medical personnel is in the country and have begun work in the operating theatres at the Lautoka Hospital.

The Medical Mission is facilitated through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation and the Ministry of Health.

Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation chairman Craig Strong said this would facilitate the provision of complex heart surgery for patients identified by the Ministry of Heath from around Fiji.

The medical team comprises cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists, anesthetists, intensivists, technicians, specialist theatre nurses, intensive care and ward nurses and physiotherapists.

“Apart from the surgeons, we have the clinical support team that will be in the country longer to monitor during the recovery period of the patients,” Mr Strong said.

“If one of these operations was to be carried out in New Zealand, it would cost close to $50, 000,” he said.

Mr Strong said the medical volunteers came in from New Zealand to provide their services to needy and unfortunate people in the country.

“The equipment is from New Zealand; we have a Trust there as well which pulls in the resources to get the medical equipment and when the volunteers come, they bring the equipment with them.”

He said this was the eighth visit by the team and close to 700 Fijians had received treatment since 2006 “All the pre-screening has been done in the Western and Eastern divisions,” he said.

“It is treatment that we get; the people that we see who do not have funding opportunities and we play our part in helping,” he said.




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