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India’s second govt hospital for gastroenterology opens in Bengaluru

The Institute of Gastroenterology and Organ Transplant (IGOT), which opened on the Victoria Hospital campus on Sunday, is India’s second government facility dedicated to the treatment of the disorders of the stomach and intestines.

Delhi’s Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), run by that state government, was the only state-run gastroenterology facility in the country.

While nearly 2,000 patients await liver transplant in Karnataka, the surgical gastroenterology department at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) could perform only 14 transplants last year.

Although a liver transplant costs up to Rs 40 lakh in private hospitals, the state government provides the same at a heavily subsidised cost of Rs 4 lakh. The IGOT, an autonomous institute not affiliated to the BMRCI, has been set up to allow more such surgeries.

The BMRCI’s gastroenterology department had an annual turnout of 19,628 patients with just 60 beds. Now, the IGOT would handle the load with 113 beds that could be extended up to 120. It will have 18 gastroenterology specialists.
When asked why the department was not functioning for three years after his appointment as its director, Dr Nagesh N S said the time had been spent to set up the system, including repurposing the old School of Nursing building.

“(In these three years) new posts have been created, cadre and recruitment rules have been framed, the institute has been registered under the Societies Registration Act, the Governing Council was formed and registered, bylaws were written, funds got released, and the project started,” Dr Nagesh said.

The outpatient and endoscopy departments have become functional at the institute. The director is hopeful of starting inpatient facilities by the month end after sterilising operation theatres.

“Previously, we only had medical and surgical gastroenterology departments at the BMCRI, but now we’ll have a comprehensive gastroenterology set-up,” Dr Nagesh said. “The only other comparable state that does what we do is the ILBS.”

The IGOT will treat cancers of oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, intestine and liver, but will do only liver transplant, both live and cadaveric. “Liver transplant costs between Rs 26 lakh and Rs 40 lakh outside, but the government will do it for Rs 4 lakh,” Dr Nagesh said. “We even did some transplants for free at the BMCRI.

The IGOT will have 170 staff, including doctors and nurses, besides 18 professors of medical and surgical gastroenterology. It has been set up at Rs 40 crore, including equipment. Rs 20 crore of that amount has been raised from corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds of various organisations. Deccan Herald