PESHAWAR: The Peshawar Institute of Cardiology (PIC) has become a reality as the first five patients who recovered from the cardiac surgeries were all praise for the doctors and the staff of the cardiac centre as well as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for providing quality of services to them.
Of the five patients, four were extremely poor and couldn’t afford the treatment cost, but thanks to Sehat Sahulat Programme that helped them seek the quality of services to save their lives.
All the five patients, who have now recovered and are supposed to return home today (Tuesday), were 60 plus. The first patient operated upon in PIC was 63-year old Abdul Sattar. He belongs to Peshawar and couldn’t control his emotions when recalled “unusual” cooperation of the doctors and PIC staff with him.
“I am a poor person and couldn’t afford to arrange Rs20,000 for angiography when advised by a cardiologist almost a year ago. I suffered two hearts attacks but survived and it was a month ago when my sons managed some money for my angiography and the doctors
advised me bypass surgery,” he said.
He said someone informed him about the PIC and his son then immediately took him there. The patient was admitted and after basic investigations, he was selected for the first cardiac surgery in PIC, though his procedure was a bit complicated.
Abdul Sattar was lucky as he was in safe hands, but the pressure was high as he was the first patient to be operated upon in the long-awaited cardiac centre that was recently completed. Prime Minister Imran Khan formally inaugurated it on December 16, 2020.
A senior cardiac surgeon, also known as a pioneer of the cardiac surgery in KP, Prof Shahkar Ahmad Shah chose to operate the first patient. Two other young cardiac surgeons, Dr Abdul Nasir and Dr Tariq Khan assisted him.
Dr Abdul Nasir has been trained in the United Kingdom and recently returned to join PIC. Dr Tariq Khan has come from Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi to serve in PIC and has trained in Canada.
The Muttahidda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government had laid the foundation stone for the cardiac centre but couldn’t allocate funds for the project. The coalition government of the Awami National Party and Pakistan People’s Party did much of the civil work but couldn’t complete it.
The first PTI government had completely ignored this crucial project in the first two years and later provided a small amount but failed to procure funds for the remaining civil work and equipment.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra and Chief Secretary Kazim Niaz took interest in the PIC completion and arranged the funds. Kazim Niaz had also helped PIC get Board of Governors. The BoG, headed by Prof Abdul Bari, a senior cardiologist and chief executive of Indus Hospital Karachi, took interest and got PIC some faculty members and auxiliary staff.
The incumbent PTI government arranged Rs1.03 billion for PIC and enabled the hospital administration and its Board of Governors (BoG) to procure equipment and operationalise the cardiac centre almost 50 percent.
Presently, three Cath labs and a similar number of operation theatres are operational. To operationalise the remaining three Cath labs and three operation theatres, the PIC would need an additional amount of Rs1.03 billion. It also needs to purchase cardiac MRI machine.
PIC also needs an additional amount of Rs30 million for its academic block and skill lab. The patient Abdul Sattar told The News that he would never forget the way the PIC staff treated him.
He used to sell cookies and peanuts in the Peshawar Press Club. “I felt proud of the way they looked after me and called me their chief guest. I got second life because of this Institute and it’ staff,” Abdul Sattar said.
Another patient, admitted to bed No 77, was InSha Allah, 70 plus. He belongs to Salarzai village of Bajaur tribal district. Like other patients, he too couldn’t afford to pay for his surgery in a private hospital. “I wish Pakistan could have hospitals like this and such a polite staff serving here. I haven’t seen such a caring staff in my life,” he remarked.
He said he didn’t pay a single penny during his stay in the PIC. Alam Gul, 70, hails from Odigram village in Swat. He had been a cardiac patient for the past couple of years but didn’t have the resources to pay for his surgery.
“I must tell you the people working here are matchless. They are extremely caring and kind to patients,” the elderly Alam Gul said.PIC is having a 22-bed emergency the department, 10 beds high dependency unit and six-bed CCU on the ground floor.
PIC has overall 23-bed ICU (two separate ICUs), and two separate CCUs of 10 beds.Besides the spacious wards, PIC has 23 well-furnished private rooms. All beds in the hospital are connected with a central oxygen supply system.
The quality and standards are stated to be higher than private-sector hospitals in the city but the cost of surgery and other procedures is lower.Patients having Sehat Sahulat Cards are given free services but private patients need to pay Rs3,50,000 for cardiac surgery and Rs20,000 for angiography.
Prof Shahkar Ahmad Shah has a better plan for the PIC. He wants it to become a centre of excellence in the future. “My aim is to set up advanced cardiology and advanced cardiac surgery in PIC. Besides teaching, I would like it to become a teaching centre as well,” he said.He had established the cardiac Surgery Department at the Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar and done the first cardiac surgery there in 1991.
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