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Indian Surgeon Conducts 70 Surgeries During His Holidays In England

A doctor with dedication and diligence in Britain of Indian origin hit headlines after conducting 70 //operations during his holiday period.

NHS in the UK is well known for its long waiting lists and sometimes patients have to wait for years before getting a routine operation. This has brought NHS under criticism.

Satya Agarwal of the Worthing and Southlands Hospital in Sussex had other ideas on how to deal with the waiting list problems especially when it involved long delays in minor surgery. He decided to take things into his own hands and launched his amazing feat. Taking time off his more complex treatment on knee and hip joints, Agarwal booked surgery appointments and returned to his hospital during a week when he was supposed to be off work.

There he took over an under-used surgical day centre room and began working through a backlog of minor surgeries for wrist pain, leading a team of day staff and secretaries, the Daily Telegraph reported on its front page Saturday.

The condition he treated, known as carpal tunnel, requires a simple surgical operation conducted under local anaesthetic.

Agarwal, who got the hospital staff to fix up appointments at short notice, conducted 70 operations to cut the waiting time by more than four weeks. He carried out 14 operations every day.

Agarwal, who has worked at the hospital for 18 years, was quite matter-of-fact about his accomplishment, telling the newspaper: "Treating patients is my job and this was just another way to do it.

"The operation is straightforward and quick. What takes the time is the paperwork and talking to patients. It was very satisfying at the end of the week. People who have this condition suffer severe pain and it can be very debilitating," he told the paper.

Hospital waiting lists for minor surgeries have been a long-running political hot potato for successive governments in Britain, which prides itself on the quality of its Na tional Health Service.

However, things have improved recently under the Labour government.

The latest waiting list figures for England show that waits of six months or more for operations are decreasing, but have not yet been abolished.

At the end of June, there were 43,200 patients waiting longer than six months for treatment - down 31,600 since June 2004. The total waiting list stands at 823,900 - a fall of 61,800 since the same time last year, according to the Department of Health.


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