Jamaica
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Indian radiologist proposing to establish dialysis hubs across Jamaica

An Indian haemodialysis service provider is looking to enter the Jamaican market.

Dr Sreedhar Vakati, radiologist and managing director of Dr Remedies Lab, an emerging haemodialysis service provider in southern India, has set a new goal of establishing dialysis centres in Jamaica.

“We have proposed a few models of operations by forming a public-private partnership, maybe through the Indian government, with the Jamaican government for providing dialysis hubs across Jamaica,” he told The Gleaner.

Vakati was part of a 17-member business delegation led by Dr Asif Iqbal, president of the Indian Economic Trade Organisation, that visited Jamaica recently to engage and discuss business collaboration with the Jamaican business community.

He said his company, which has been in operation for more than 10 years, operates five haemodialysis centres in India, four of which are for charity. These centres cater to an average of 30 people each day.

Vakati believes that establishing centres in Jamaica will significantly reduce the wait list of renal failure patients requiring treatment.

“Ideally, patients of renal failure will require around two times of dialysis a week,” he said, adding that based on his research on the market in Jamaica, some patients have to wait up to two months before accessing treatment. This, he said, will only further aggravate the illness and can even cause death.

More than 400 kidney patients are on the Kingston Public Hospital wait list. It is one of five public hospitals that have renal-care units. The others are the University Hospital of the West Indies, Spanish Town, Cornwall Regional, and Mandeville Regional hospitals.

Currently, no hospital under the North East Regional Health Authority’s banner, which covers St Mary, Portland and St Ann, has a renal unit. As a result, patients have to travel elsewhere to access treatment.

“As we know the technical know-how, we will be able to bring down the wait list of the dialysis patients at the dialysis centres quite effectively,” Vakati stated.

Though he shared that he was unable to secure a meeting with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, while here to push forward these discussions, he is still hopeful that further engagements through the Indian high commissioner in Jamaica will facilitate this.

“Once the government gives the green signal, we will be in a position to go ahead and implement it fast,” he said.

“From the day the decision is taken, in a maximum of three to five-month period, we will be able to establish the centres here, and before another three to four months, in that period, after establishing and commissioning and installation of the equipment, we should be able to bring down the wait list in maybe three to four months time,” he said.

sashana.small@gleanerjm.com