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Over 1,000 Free Spine Surgeries Done At Bmc’s Santacruz Hosp | Mumbai News – Times of India



MUMBAI: Savita Remje from Chiplun has a rare distinction: she recently became the 1,000th patient to undergo a completely free spine surgery at BMC-run V N Desai Hospital, Santacruz.
BMC’s suburban hospitals operate as general hospitals with very few super-specialty surgeries conducted here. However, the spine centre at V N Desai Hospital stands out as an example of how the civic administration, altruistic donors and doctors can make a difference to the life of needy patients.
The VN Desai Hospital’s spine centre is the initiative of the Spine Foundation, run by a group of spine surgeons from Mumbai who are led by Dr Shekhar Bhojraj. For the last 14 years, the foundation has been conducting these free operations at V N Desai Hospital as well as rural areas across the state.
BMC’s additional commissioner Dr Sudhadkar Shinde said the corporation has many peripheral hospitals in the suburbs that function as general hospitals and don’t have subject specialists. “The Spine Foundation came forward to run a free programme for spine patients in 2014. We gave the foundation space and facilities in V N Desai Hospital, Santacruz, and it has been doing excellent work since then,” he said.
Take the case of Remje, what started as a backache rendered her bedridden over the last couple of years. Her son Sushant, who has a housekeeping job with the Spine Foundation, brought her to Mumbai for a consultation and she was operated at the earliest. She now stays with her son in Wadala and can walk around.
Dr Bhojraj said the Spine Foundation was set up 25 years ago with the idea of helping the urban poor. The foundation first built a state-of-the-art OT with funding from donors. Not only are minor and complex spine surgeries performed here, patients are provided with long-term rehabilitation as well.
The Spine Foundation has its own nursing staff and resident doctors at civic hospital. “We have a fellowship programme at V N Desai Hospital, so our own fellows treat and monitor patients,” said Dr Bhojraj. The foundation has completed over 1,100 surgeries so far and treated over 35,000 patients on an outpatient basis. Operations are done on Mondays and Wednesdays, with five or six patients operated every week.



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