Delay in opening Cath lab affects poor in Amritsar

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Amritsar, July 31

Even as a team of six members had returned after completing their training at the PGI, Chandigarh, to conduct operations at Cath Lab, the project at Government Medical College here is getting delayed and forcing people to look for treatment at private hospitals at much higher cost. The team had returned around a month and half ago about getting hands on training at similar facility in PGI.

Medical experts believe that if the Cath lab at the college becomes operational, it will decrease the cost of treatment and poor people will be benefited. “In the present scenario, heart ailments are not acquired only by the rich and those leading luxurious lives, as was perceived earlier. Presently, a hard-working man such as a rickshaw-puller, too, can suffer such a problem. If the lab is opened, it will be a beneficial step for the poor,” said a senior faculty member on condition of anonymity.

The project of setting up the Cath lab, which was first conceptualised around seven years ago, has been delayed at each and every stage.

The college had earlier given hope to poor patients, as it had performed first-ever open-heart surgery at any government-sector hospital in the state in 2014. The limited cost of surgery and post-surgery care at merely Rs 75,000 had given people hope that the treatment would be affordable.

The college could not take any more cases, as it said it would be done after the Cath lab becomes operational.

The college authorities stated that though a team of six had been trained, it would require training of many more hands to successfully run the operations.

“Earlier, the PGI had offered to send its own team on a temporary basis for a few days to start the facility.

The modalities are to be worked out at the government level and as soon as it gets done, the lab would start working,” said an official.

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