Cyberknife, the robotic surgery system invented by John R. Adler, is now available in Chennai, India through the Apollo Hospitals Group. The system is designed to deliver radiotherapy to tumors in specific parts of the body.
The system is designed to deliver high dosage of radiation accurately to the tumors without affecting the other healthy tissues. The system uses a precise real-time image guide to detect tumors and deliver radiation precisely on the tumor. Because delivery of radiation is precise and in high-dosage, the treatment is said to result in faster treatment compared to conventional radiation methods. The Cyberknife surgery requires no incision so the procedure definitely cuts down the hospital stay of patients. The system also lessens the distress of patients who are afraid of undergoing surgeries. The physical trauma of undergoing surgery is also lessened along with other side effects related to tumor surgeries.
The system is not yet widely available in the world so medical tourists from the Middle East and other areas of the Asia Pacific are expected to go to Chennai, India to undergo Cyberknife surgery. Currently there are only 150 installations of the Cyberknife system in the world.
The Cyberknife treatment costs around 400,000 INR or around $ 8,200.
Ranjit Hayer, a 60-year old Canadian woman, recently gave birth to twins after a successful In Vitro Fertilization treatment in India. The twins were born seven weeks prematurely and are currently under neo-natal intensive care unit. Born through C-section at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Alberta Canada, the babies will be released in a few weeks after they reach ideal weight and can already breath on their own.
Ranjit Hayer, who hails from Punjab India, had been trying for decades to conceive. Hayer has experienced multiple miscarriages and was even robbed once by a fertility doctor in India. Hayer was also diagnosed with a problem in her womb in the past and has had to go under surgery for the condition. Despite the troubles Hayer experienced in her desire to conceive, Hayer did not give up and saved up for the latest IVF treatment in India that led to the birth of her twin sons.
The case now raises ethical issues regarding allowing women of Hayer’s age to undergo IVF treatments. There is concern regarding the social implications of parents of advanced age raising children that they may no live long enough to see grow. In Canada, the age limit for IVF treatments is between 45-50 years old.
There is also the issue over implementing controls on medical tourism; while the IVF treatment was performed in India, Hayer gave birth in Canada. There is concern regarding Canadian tax-payers supporting the after-care of patients who have chosen to receive and pay for medical treatment in other countries.
Opthalmologists at the last All Indian Opthalmological Conference (AIOC) held in Jaipur, India, last February 5-8, discussed the need to improve hospital standards in the country to attract more medical tourists from developed nations. While India is considered one of the more attractive nations by patients for medical tourism, most of the patients who undergo medical treatment in India still come from developing nations.
The participants in the conference discussed how improving hospital standards in India would attract more foreign patients from the West to seek treatments and healthcare in the country. Raising the standards of medical facilities in India involves not just improving medical treatments and facilities but also acquiring international standard certifications. International certifications such as the certification by the Joint Commission International (JCI) boosts the reputation of a medical facility.
As part of the discussion, a proposal was made regarding the creation of a special group that will coordinate with opthalmological organizations from other countries for possible exchange programs of professionals and students from the field.
The conference held at the Birla Auditorium was attended by more than 6,000 opthalmologists and eye specialists from India and other countries. The conference focuses on the current status, the developments and the challenges that the industry faces.