Open heart surgery to begin early next year
Guyana Chronicle
December 20, 2006

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OPEN heart surgery at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is expected to commence early next year at the recently established cardiac centre, according to the hospitalís Director of Medical and Professional Services, Dr. Madan Rambarran.

He told the Government Information Agency (GINA) invasive diagnostic assessments have been examined, and anaesthesiologists will begin installing the final pieces of equipment for the operating room.

The centre, the agency said, will provide a range of services, including valve replacement, coronary artery, surgery of the aorta and aortic root, and by-pass surgeries.

Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy has noted that the equipment is among the best in the Caribbean, and will be beneficial, since heart failure is among the leading cause of death in the Caribbean and North America.

These services will be offered at a cost of US$3,200 each, which will make it the cheapest in the world, Ramsammy has said.

In Trinidad the average cost for cardiac surgery is US$15,000 to US$20,000. In the United States, the cost is US$100,000 while in the United Kingdom, it is 100,000 pounds.

GINA said the government has also been providing several patients, particularly children, the opportunity to benefit from heart surgery at the Frontier Lifeline Hospital in Chennai, India, through the Heart 2 Heart Foundation, spearheaded by First Lady Varshni Jagdeo.

Many of the children whose parents could not afford the cost of treatment overseas have returned home after successful surgeries.

The US$2M cardiac unit at the GPHC was established through an agreement between the Government of Guyana and the Caribbean Heart Institute (CHI), and was commissioned by President Bharrat Jagdeo last October.