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September 12, 2000
Vajpayee may have second opinion about knees
Amberish K Diwanji and Savera Someshwar in New York
If talk among members of the prime minister's team is to be believed, he may have a second opinion about the condition of his knees from another Indian doctor whose super-speciality, like Dr Chittaranjan S Ranawat, is also knees and joints.
Dr Dinesh Patel, head of arthoscopy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and a faculty member at Harvard University, is believed to be the doctor likely to examine Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
However, when contacted by rediff.com, Dr Patel said he has not been contacted by anyone from the Indian side so far, and refused to speculate on any such possibility.
Dr Patel said he would travel to Washington DC on September 14 to hear the prime minister's address to the joint session of Congress.
Asked if he would carry any equipment wit him, he laughed off the question. "For an initial examination, you don't need any special equipment. It is your experience and judgment that counts," he said.
Dr Patel has lived in the US since 1967 and has been at Harvard since 1974.
Medical sources close to the Indian delegation in the US said Dr Patel, like Dr Ranawat, is among the finest in his field. Dr Patel, the sources said, would be requested to look at Vajpayee's knees some time during the Washington segment of the prime minister's trip.
The sources said there was nothing wrong in seeking a second opinion. "In fact, in the US, it is the norm to have a second opinion on serious ailments that might require major surgery," they added.
rediff.com has assigned Associate Editors Amberish K Diwanji and Savera R Someshwar to cover Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to the United States. Don't forget to log into rediff.com for news of this historic visit as it happens!
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