The success rate of infertility treatment in India, which is a low 45 to 48 per cent, requires dedicated centres for infertility management. More so as Infertility in India in contrast to developed countries is not only a medical problem but a social issue. Women are ostracized for their barrenness. To emphasise the point Dr Ameet Patki, Director, ReGenesis, Reliance Life Sciences illustrates a case of a couple from Bihar, who came in search of infertility treatment to his centre in Mumbai some few years back. The couple refused to go back till the wife got pregnant. “Till the sixth month of pregnancy, they feared they would not be welcomed by their relatives and parents in their home,” recounts Dr Patki.
Equipped with a team of 20 people, which include Doctors, Embryologists, Andrologists, Lab Technicians, Sonographers, Counsellors and Paramedical Staff, ReGenesis was set up as a part of embryonic stem cell research group in 2000, New Millennium initiatives of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to cater to patients suffering from infertility. It has been offering infertility treatments like Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Sperm Retrieval Procedures like PESA, MESA, TESA, TESE, Laser Assisted Hatching (LAH), among other tests for the past 10 years. “Contrary to misconceptions in the society, the treatment offered by the centre is affordably priced and can now be offered to most sections of the society,” avers Dr Patki.
There are roughly 250 centers across the country, which are offering some type of infertility treatment like IUI and basic evaluation of couples. ReGenesis today has the distinction of catering to patients of infertility, recurrent miscarriages and parents, who have delivered children with genetic malformation. “It conducts various training programmes for doctors free of cost to increase awareness about advance technology in the field of Infertility. Donor Oocyte programme, Surrogacy and treatment for male partner infertility are some of the few procedures popularized by ReGenesis,” informs Dr Patki.
Boasting about the success of ReGenesis in handling 1500 cases every year, twenty five per cent are from foreign countries, Dr Patki reminisces that it took three years, 1997 to 2000 to convince the leading corporate company Reliance Industries to set up a world class, integrated, research driven centre of excellence for infertility management. ReGenesis is an ISO 9001 2008 accredited centre and has to date treated patients from USA, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Far East in addition to patients from across the country.
“I did not face any financial or technical difficulty once I convinced the corporate company about the feasibility and commercial viability of the infertility centre,” says Dr Patki.
Credited to have pioneered and world patented two novel procedures one in infertility treatment and other in embryonic stem cell research, Dr Patki did his graduation and post graduation study from Mumbai University in the field of Women’s Health and Gynaecology in 1992. He was further trained in London for five years for Post Doctoral Fellowship in Infertility and high risk Obstetrics from 1993 -1997 at the famous St. Bartholomews Hospital and Portland Hospital for Women and Children.
Despite being offered a consultant job after the training, he chose to return back to Mumbai. A strong desire to set up world class institutes in Infertility and a sense of responsibility to serve his own people initiated Dr Patki to look for opportunities in Mumbai. Hailing from a family of Architects and Engineers, Dr Patki aspired to take up medical profession since his adolescence. My belief in the medical field became more firm, when I was diagnosed of a brain tumour during my school days and underwent surgery. I reaffirmed my resolve to become a doctor after the surgery to unravel the mysteries which inflicted the mankind.
His perseverance and commitment towards giving quality treatment to infertile couples, who faced social stigma due to lack of treatment facilities led to the setting up of the Assisted Reproduction Facility at Reliance Life Sciences Pvt Ltd in August 2001. In June 2005, the centre was branded as ReGenesis. “ReGenesis is the first and today the only of its kind integrated centre for Infertility, Gynaecological Endoscopy and Fetal Medicine offering infertility treatments under one roof,” says an ecstatic Dr Patki.
The infertility treatment pioneered by him called as Follicular Fluid FISH, is a novel test to detect low grade Gonadal Mosaicism, which is known to be a major cause in the failure of Infertility treatment have become popular over a period of four years. Dr Patki has been awarded the best research award in the country from Gynaecological Association in 2003 and has also won Asia-Oceania Young Gynaecologist award for the year 2005 for his pioneering activities in the field of infertilty. He has been invited in many countries including Japan, Korea, China to present his work.
Dr Patki has been given the honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and is a visiting faculty to the University of London for its various courses in Reproductive Endocrinology, Infertility and Clinical Embryology. Dr Patki has edited two text books in the field of Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology. His last book sold over 6, 000 copies in 6 months of publication. He is also the Honorary Associate Professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at KJ Somaiya College and Hospital, Mumbai.
Under his mentorship, ReGenesis is on an expansion mode and is in discussion to set up six to eight centres in various cities of India in the coming three years. “There is a need to replicate such centres of infertility management across the country,” concludes Dr Patki.