A TOTAL of 84 patients in the north have been identified for further medical treatment by a team of medical specialists from the Sahyadri Group of Hospitals in India.
The team, specialised in cardiac, orthopaedic (joint replacement, arthroscopy) and neurosurgery conducted free screening for more than 300 patients at the Labasa Hospital on Friday. Of the figure, 32 patients needed surgery for joint replacement, 45 for cardiac surgery and seven for neurosurgery.
Minister for Health Doctor Neil Sharma said the orthopaedic service had been conducted in the country twice by the team and had been successful.
"The open heart surgery will operate from March 25, this year and the neurological team will be ready once we identify the patients," Dr Sharma said.
"This screening of patients is a first in the series to bring better health to the people of the country and once it's completed, the government through the Ministry of Health will determine the degree of financial support needed by our people."
He said medical insurance companies, general practitioners and individuals could use the services provided.
"The standard of care provided is international and the ministry continues to develop its service, capabilities alignment with developed countries so our national, social and economic targets are met."
The hospital's director and neurosurgeon, Doctor Charudutt Apte, said the team would return some time in March or April to conduct surgeries for patients identified for further medical treatment.
He said the screening activity had allowed them to identify patients with serious health problems who needed urgent treatment.