Sans specialist cardiologists, Cath Lab at GB Pant Hospital left redundant

Report by: 
RP SHARMA
Port Blair
9 Feb 2019

it was on 2017, a New Super Specialty Cardiology Department was established by the former Lt Governor, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi with the aim to provide specialist cardiology services to the heart patients in the Islands. Accordingly, a Cardiology Department, a Cath Lab, costing Rs 25 crore was established with all the modern equipments and required facilities. To ensure that the Cath Lab is run smoothly, services of a Cardiologist was also made available besides Cardio Care Unit (CCU) was made ready. However, two years on, the Cath Lab is lying unused with no permanent Cardiologist to treat the patients. Just in the name of running the show, temporary arrangements are being made and an incumbent doctors without having experience of specialist know how is being given the tasks to run the show. The services of one junior doctor is being available twice in a week. As per reports, at the time of opening of the Cath Lab, services of specialist doctors from mainland was roped in as per a MoU with specialist heart hospital from Chennai. Accordingly, the heart specialist visit the islands and provide his services once after two –three months.  As per raw data obtained from Health Department, a good number of heart patients lineup in front of the Cath. Lab for heart treatment, but non-availability of specialist doctors in the Cardiology Department of the GB Pant Hospital force them to proceed in other specialist hospitals in mainland.                          
The GB Pant Hospital, the lone referral hospital with 500 bed capacity, is having all departments, including MRI, dialysis, digital x-ray etc. and catering to the health needs of the people of the Islands. Apart from this, there are two District Hospitals with 100 bed capacity, one each in Mayabunder and Car Nicobar, with facilities such as digital x-ray, lab, ECG, USG and ambulance. Besides this, a full- fledged AYUSH Hospital is also functioning at Junglighat where Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy treatments are being rendered with research activities. Health facilities are also available to the islanders by way of 4 CHCs, 22 PHCs, 5 UHCs and 122 Sub-Centers spread over the Islands. Besides the Andaman & Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Sciences (ANIIMS) is functioning creating doctors who can provide their services to the people of the islands.