Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has unexpectedly left for the US for a medical check-up relating to his kidney ailment, sources said on Tuesday. Jaitley, who had undergone a renal transplant surgery on May 14, 2018, had not travelled abroad in last nine months. He was scheduled to attend 10th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue in London in April last year, but had cancelled his visit due to his kidney ailment. Sources said, he left for the US on Sunday night for a medical check-up. Jaitley is to present his sixth and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s last Budget on February 1.
Though it is supposed to be an Interim Budget, it is widely expected that his speech would have been full-length Budget speech. Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS last year in early April following which he underwent dialysis. He had a renal transplant surgery on May 14, 2018. Jaitley’s post-operative recovery was being closely monitored by a team of transplant surgeons, pulmonologist, nephrologist, endocrinologist, cardiologist and critical care experts among others.
The 65-year-old political leader received a kidney from a distant relative, a middle-aged woman, according to sources at AIIMS. The donation fell under the category of ‘live unrelated donation’.
“Living, unrelated donor could be anyone who is emotionally attached to the recipient, such as a friend, a relative, a neighbour or an in-law. The authorisation committee had given its approval before the procedure,” the source had told PTI.
During transplant surgeries, the patient is put on immunosuppressants so as to lower his/her body’s ability to reject a transplanted organ. The patient is thus kept in isolation in order to avoid any infection. A team of 20 personnel, including transplant anesthesiologists and transplant surgeons, conducted the surgery at the cardio-thoracic centre.
In his absence, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal was given the additional charge of Finance Ministry on May 14. Jaitley, 66, who had stopped attending office at the beginning of April, and was back in North Block - the seat of Finance Ministry - on August 23.
Jaitley had in September 2014, undergone a bariatric surgery to treat weight gain that he suffered because of a long-standing diabetic condition. That surgery was first performed at Max Hospital, but Jaitley was later shifted to AIIMS because of complications. He had a heart surgery several years ago.