Obama’s doctor coming up with new hospital in Kolkata

January 7th, 2011 - 3:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama By Pradipta Tapadar
Kolkata, Jan 7 (IANS) A Kolkata-born doctor, who is part of the medical team that treats US President Barack Obama, has decided to do his bit for his native place by setting up a super-speciality liver research and treatment centre here.”I am planning to set up one of the best liver research and treatment centres in Kolkata. It will be an answer to all kinds of liver ailments,” Prithijit Patrik Basu told IANS.

Basu, one of the three Indian doctors in the medical team that treats Obama, was born in the Ballygunge area of South Kolkata. He completed his MBBS from N.R.S Medical College here in the late 1970s and worked as a resident doctor with SSKM in the early 80s.

Asked what prompted him to set up a liver research and treatment centre in Kolkata, the doctor said: “Actually I wanted to do something for Bengal, for my Kolkata. It has been more than 25 years since I left Bengal. But Bengal as well as its culture is still alive in my heart.”

Known in the medical fraternity as ‘Pat Basu’, he left for London in 1982 and from there shifted to the US in 1987. He is currently associated with the American Liver Foundation. Since 2008 he has also been serving as the leading liver surgeon in the medical team that looks after Obama’s health.

Asked whether he ever had an opportunity to treat Obama, a smiling Basu said: “Thank god, till date I haven’t had that opportunity.”

The liver research and treatment centre is expected to come up by the side of the arterial Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in the city by next year.

The initial budget for the project will be Rs.100 crore (over $20 milllion). It will have various sub-centres in districts surrounding the metropolis. Each sub-centre will be inter-connected and also linked to the main centre through satellite technology.

“They will have both treatment and research facilities for medical students. It will be the best liver research institute in Asia. The institute will cater to patients from various neighbouring states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Assam. The institute will cater to poor patients,” said Basu.

The proposed institute is also planning to have a helipad and helicopter facilities to airlift patients from remote areas. Basu said the centre in Kolkata will have a doctor exchange programme with medical establishments in the US.

(Pradipta Tapadar can be contacted at pradipta.t@ians.in)

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