CHENNAI: Indian orthopaedic surgeons, who flock largely to Thailand to get their share of training in cadaveric dissection, can now do it within the country.
Madras Medical College on Monday opened the first of its kind Orthopaedic Cadaveric Skills Lab in any government college in the country to train post graduate students in cadaveric dissection. The lab is expected to benefit not just Indian surgeons, but also their counterparts from neighboring countries without such facilities.
The cadaveric lab, situated in the Institute of Anatomy, was constructed in association with DePuy Johnson & Johnson under Public Private Partnership at a cost of `34 lakh borne entirely by the private agency. Earlier, an Orthopadeic Bioskills Lab was also instituted in the campus with the help DePuy Johnson & Johnson through its professional education grant.
“The lab will consist of four divisons,” said RH Govardhan, Director, Institute of Orthopaedics and Traumatology.
“One, a room to preserve the body at a temperature of minus 18 degrees to minus 20 degrees.
Two, a freezer room maintained at a temperature of minus 6 degrees. Three, a room with six surgery tables where the experiments can be performed and four, a hall with viewing and conferencing facilities to see the experiments being performed,” he said.
However, experts are concerned about the availability of cadavers to perform experiments and studies on a sustained basis.
“We have appealed to NGOs and other agencies to motivate patient attenders to make a cadaver donation,” says Govardhan. The State government’s initiatives to simplify the procedures involved in cadaver donation has increased the number of voulnteers, according to hospital authorities. “At present we have 600 people who are registered with MMC for cadaver donation, 700 people registered with the Salem government hospital and 300 in Dharmapuri,” said V Kanagasabai, Dean, MMC.
“While we have surpassed the international figures in organ donation with 70 out of 100 people willing to donate, we are yet to achieve such results in cadaver donation,” said VK Subburaj, health secretary.
“Our mortuaries are overflowing with dead bodies.
Embalmed dead bodies can be used as cadavers for academic purposes. But we do not embalm our dead bodies and preserve them just to save some money. Now its time to start thinking of how to utilise these dead bodies,” said Subburaj. “The unclaimed bodies which were in large number with the Government hospitals have also come down tremendously with better communication facilities,” added V Kanagasabai.
PPP touted as solution to delays in government healthcare delivery
The easiest and the most effective way to cut delays in the government health delivery system is to implement projects under public-private partnerships, according to the state health secretary, VK Subburaj.
Recalling the delivery of amenities at the Institute of Mental Health, the largest-of-its-kind hospital in Asia, Subburaj said, “About 1,500 patients are treated at the IMH on an average.
After the Human Rights Commission and High Court noted that the patients at IMH lived like inmates in jail, we immediately sanctioned money to improve the conditions. But it took two years to deliver basic amenities like bedsheets and pillows because of the tedious procedures in the system.” In the same way, the Oncology department in the Government General Hospital is not equipped with high end infrastructure. For instance there is no PET scan centre in the hospital. “Setting up a PET centre will cost about `12 crore and will take another 12 years to establish. Meanwhile, private hospitals have come forward to allow patients from government hospitals to use them at half the cost. Such PPP initiatives can boost our healthcare system,” Subburaj said.
The fi rst PPP model was started in Thiruvallur in a programme to provide noon-meals for women coming for anti-natal care. “In six months, it was so successful that it was replicated in many government hospitals,” he added.