Persons can now access non-invasive cardiac services at the recently established Cardiology Department, at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).
Establishment of the unit was made possible through $64 million in funding provided by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.
The facility is equipped with one echocardiogram with three reading stations, one portable echocardiogram, one Holter System with five monitors and electrocardiogram (ECG) extenders, one transoesophageal probe, five patient monitors, five infusion pumps, one defibrillator and one medical treadmill.
Theunit was officially opened on Wednesday (November 20), at the hospital’s downtown Kingston location.
In his keynote address at the ceremony, Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton,said thenumber-one ailment affecting the Jamaican population is cardiovascular disease.
With more than 25 per cent of Jamaica’s adult population having at least one major risk factor for the condition, Dr. Tufton said there is need to improve the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease and the treatment of cardiac patients, especially in the public health system.
“In terms of capacity, the unit will increase accessibility and standard of care for cardiac patients by increasing a range of services, moving from 10 patients a week to 15 patients per day in terms of capacity. It is a five-fold increase and that is sufficiently significant. You will now be in a position to provide modern, minimal invasive procedures,” he noted.
Head of the KPH Cardiology Unit, Dr. Camille Christian, said the hospital aims to have the full complement of services operational by January 2020.
“Almost one year ago, we took our first patient to the unit. Since then, we have done over 2,000 studies. The unit functions as a non-invasive cardiac unit where we offer echocardiography, transoesophageal echocardiography, treadmill and pharmacological stress testing and Holter Monitoring, which is an extended ECG monitoring,” she informed.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer, CHASE Fund, Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven, said the project is one of several that the Fund has invested in at the KPH.
“To date, CHASE has contributed $250 million towards several projects at the KPH in areas, such as dialysis, ENT, urology and a high dependency unit. At CHASE, we understand that to maintain and improve the health of all, we must shape a sound and efficient health system that will provide effective disease prevention and treatment options and care for everyone,” he said.
The cardiology unit is expected to treat the needs of Jamaica’s growing population.Cardiovascular disease is now the leading cause of deaths and disability in Jamaica.
Cardiovascular disease is comprised of disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, rheumatic and congenital heart disease, among others.