South African heart specialist Dr Marius Barnard, brother of transplant pioneer Professor Christian Barnard has just returned from a visit to Romania where he treated heart patients, lectured students and spoke on television.
CU: Marius Barnard talking to reporter (off camera)
REPORTER: "Dr Barnard, how much work did you do in this time when you were in Romania?"
BARNARD: "Well as far as operating, we did 23 open heart operations and we saw between 300 and 400 patients needing cardiac investigation. I think about 300 need cardiac surgery. I gave talks and interviews at many universities and medical schools and medical students and students in Romania are terribly interested in our work and what we are doing. They had terrific enthusiasm for what we are doing. I did television programmes, scientific programmes, newspaper interviews and radio interviews. Every representatives from London and South Africa kept me very busy. I would say 16 to 18 hours a day of work."
REPORTER: "This means you hardly had any time to breathe by the sounds of it?"
BARNARD: "Well no, we had our moments of social activities and good times as well."
REPORTER: "Was this a private visit? Did you get no state or professional help from our side?
BARNARD: "Now as you know, we have been operating on Romanian patients for many years-seven years. I've always been impressed by the type of people-their great love for their families and children and their great appreciation for what you do for them. They are the most appreciative patients in the world, I think. They are very grateful for everything you do. So we got more and more close to the Romanian patients and then, in June, I visited Romania and we started planning this visit. I came back and slowly asked some of our staff to join me. I got some friends of mine to help me financial and the whole thing was done on an individual, private basis. I think, perhaps, that visits like this are better. I think you get more co-operation from the other side if you do it this way."
REPORTER: "Now you've begun, are you going back shortly?"
BARNARD: "Yes, I think they appreciated what we're doing very much. I think we have brought to them a new understanding of what we in South Africa take for granted of deep involved medical care of people. Doctors and staff really caring for patients and setting a standard that is very high. Nothing is good enough for the patients except the next and therefore I think they have been very impressed with my personnel and I think I can tell you that they have asked me to come back in March and bring some more people."
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Background: South African heart specialist Dr Marius Barnard, brother of transplant pioneer Professor Christian Barnard has just returned from a visit to Romania where he treated heart patients, lectured students and spoke on television. Although Dr Barnard's visit was privately arranged he took with him a medical team and he claims it was so successful, another trip is already being planned. After his return he spoke in Cape Town to reporter Charl Pauw of the South African Broadcasting Organisation.