Category Archives: News & Events

Services worth Rs3bn to be provided free at NICVD in a year

The National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) will be providing services worth Rs3 billion free of charge to patients in a year, announced the medical facility’s executive director, Prof Nadeem Qamar, on Tuesday.

The declaration to provide free of charge services to all patients visiting the Out Patient Department and the general ward of the NICVD, was made by Prof Qamar on July 18. “Since then, not a single rupee has been charged from the 95 percent of patients who visited the hospital for treatment.”

NICVD’s director was accompanied by renowned cardiologist Prof Nadeem Rizvi, Paediatric Cardiologist Prof Dr Najma Patel and senior consultant cardiologist Dr Fazl-e-Rabbi. The free services include admissions to the general ward, emergency services, cardiac interventions, elective surgeries, medicines and medical devices among several others.

Furthermore, Prof Qamar announced renovating all operation theatres at the cardiac centre, establishment of the eighth cardiac catheterisation (cath) lab, induction of a second thallium stress machine and seven ventilators in the emergency room of the NICVD.

“The Sindh government has increased our grant to Rs4 billion from Rs1.8 billion so as to help us provide all the services including costly surgeries, medical tests and placement of life-saving devices free of cost,” the NICVD director added.

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OPD timings, doctors increased

Prof Qamar further announced that from now onwards OPD timings will be increased till 5pm, adding, that the number of doctors in the OPDs have also been doubled to cater to a large number of patients.

“Earlier, only those patients could avail OPD services who managed to reach the NICVD by 12 noon. But now, I have asked to issue OPD tokens till 4pm and have instructed the staff to provide consultation to every patient who manages to acquire an OPD token as majority of the patients come from far flung areas of the province.”

New buildings

A three-storied building dedicated for OPDs is under construction and would be completed in a year, the NICVD executive director further announced. “With its completion the number of OPDs will be increased manifold and a large number of patients, not just from Sindh but from the entire country will benefit from them.”

A plan to build a separate building for paediatric surgery is also underway. Expected to be completed in two years, the department would facilitate thousands of children with heart problems.

Prof Qamar added that another building wherein all wards and operation theatres will be shifted would be constructed with public and private partnership.

“Our current capacity is of 618 beds but after construction of the new building, the NICVD would be able to admit 2,000 patients at a time,” he claimed.

Numbers that matter

As many as 410,217 patients were provided OPD services at the hospital during May 2016 to April 2017, but this year the number of patients will be twice, if not thrice, as large as last year’s due to free OPDs, Prof Qamar said.

The NICVD hopes to conduct thousands of angioplasties, including 6,000 Primary PCIs, over 3,000 elective angioplasties, hundreds of bypass surgeries and hundreds of other cardiac interventions.

Satellite centres in Sindh

Furthermore, the medical facility’s first ever satellite healthcare centre has been established at Larkan, and has, since last month, carried out  around 101 angioplasties, NICVD director stated. It would formally be inaugurated on July 30.

The NICVD plans to establish seven such satellite centres in coming months, including three at Tando Muhammad Khan; Sukkur and Sehwan this year, and three more at Nawabshah, Khairpur and Mirpurkhas by the end of 2018.

Prof Qamar on the occasion, urged media personnel to apprise the public of the free of charge, quality services being offered at the NICVD.

Source: The News International

NICVD expands its services to interior Sindh

KARACHI – National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) has embarked on an ambitious expansion program focussed on providing series of updated medical, interventional and surgical services to heart patients across the province.

Executive Director, NICVD, Prof Nadeem Qamar in a press conference Tuesday said all these services are being provided absolutely free of cost to 95% of the patients visiting or admitted to NICVD as well as its associated facilities.

He said with the motive to provide interventional cardiology services to the people of Sindh at their doorsteps NICVD’s first satellite center is already functional at Larkana.

“We are providing state of the art services through our Larkana facility and have also performed more than 100 angioplasties in few months’ time,” said Dr. Nadeem Qamar.

NICVD satellite centers at Tando Muhammad Khan, Sukkur and Sehwan are in process of completion while three more will be operational at Nawabshah, Khairpur and Mirpurkhas by next year,” said the NICVD chief.

In reply to question, he said since the introduction of absolutely free of charge services to the general in-patients and out-patients, only recently, a surge in the number of patients from other provinces is also being registered at NICVD, Karachi.

To another query, he said NICVD has also launched outreach Chest Pain Units at different localities of Karachi and has attended 9,415 patients in almost two and a half years’ time.

About free services provided to the patients, the senior cardiologist said these include all diagnostic facilities along with angiography, primary and elective coronary angioplasty, echocardiography, stress echography, thallium scan, cardiac enzymes along with provision for pacemakers and other life saving devices.

In certain Picture1cases, NICVD has been first institution across the country offering free some of the most updated facilities; he said and referred to implantation of series of life saving devices.

“NICVD with the support of provincial government is committed to meet the needs of ever growing number of cardiac patients in the country,” said Dr Nadeem Qamar.

Source: The Nation

NICVD Starts implanting pacemakers free of charge

The National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) has started implanting free pacemakers for cardiac patients suffering from conditions such as bradycardia (a condition that slows an individual’s heart rate) and heart block, NICVD Executive Director Prof Nadeem Qamar told The News on Wednesday.

“This service is being offered to patients absolutely free of any charge since the start of this month. Pacemakers normally cost between Rs100,000 to Rs150,000, while an implant surgery costs around Rs10,000 to Rs15,000,” he said.

The NICVD administration recently started conducting free emergency angioplasties, also known as Primary PCIs, for heart attack patients after the Sindh government allocated an additional Rs380 million in the current fiscal budget.

A few months earlier, the NICVD also started implanting costly Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) free of charge for patients whose lives may be in danger due to weakened heart muscles.

Prof Nadeem Qamar said the entire cost of implanting pacemakers to patients would be borne by the NICVD as “the provincial government is already providing billions of rupees to the state-of-the-art cardiovascular institutes for highly subsidised treatment of heart ailments”.

“We were earlier implanting 500 to 700 pacemakers in a year but after making it absolutely free for the patients, it is expected that we would be implanting 1,000 to 1,500 pacemakers in a year from now on.”

Prof Qamar said the pacemakers would be provided to every patient without any fee and the hospital would only receive money from those who would wish to pay the bills for the pacemaker implantation or having a surgery at the hospital.

He said there were a number of patients who afforded the full cost of their treatment at the NICVD. “These patients did not only pay their bills but also provide hefty sums as donations to the cardiac institute for the benefits of poor patients.”

According to him, pacemaker is an inevitable device in an institute for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases where hundreds of patients visit for treatment of their heart conditions like bradycardia and heart block. “Unfortunately, the majority of patients from the rural parts of Sindh cannot even afford this device to live a healthy life. Cardiologists from the rural Sindh have been putting a lot of pressure on the NICVD for free of charge implants of the pacemakers as there are scores of patients from different cities of Sindh who are living without pacemakers due to their inability to pay their cost,” Prof Qamar said.

To a query, he said from now onwards no patient would be turned back from the NICVD due to his or her inability to pay for the pacemaker. He hoped that the NICVD would be able to cater to the health needs of the majority of heart patients in the province.

It is worth mentioning here that the NICVD is extending its services to other areas of the city after it started placing ‘Pain-Management Centers’ established in containers. First such mobile centre is placed beneath the Gulshan Chowrangi flyover while.

The NICVD is also planning to place more such containers in other busy areas, including under the flyover of Quaidabad and Gulbai. Similarly, it has established one of its satellite centres in Larkana which is providing free of charge cardiology services to patients.

“Around 90 primary PCI procedures have so far been carried out at the NICVD’s satellite centre in Larkana since May 13 this year,” Prof Qamar added.

Source: The News International

Heart ailments to now be treated free of charge at NICVD

The National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) on Tuesday announced waiving charges off all health services provided at the medical facility to both OPD and general ward patients.

From today onwards, treatment of patients admitted at the general ward will be carried out free of charge, whereas those visiting the out-patient department (OPD) of the NICVD will also not have to pay for any services, said NICVD Executive Director Prof Nadeem Qamar.

Health services including angioplasties, bypass surgeries, medical examinations like echocardiography, X-rays, thallium stress test, exercise tolerance test and medical consultations would be provided free of charge to all general ward patients and OPD patients will not have to pay the token fee, nor any OPD charges or admission fee.

Health Map

The decision was announced by Prof Qamar following the inauguration of NICVD’s fourth Outreach Chest Pain Unit in the city set up under the KPT Interchange, Qayyumabad. He was accompanied by Sindh Secretary Health Dr Fazlullah Pechuho.

“The NICVD is now perhaps the only public sector hospital where OPDs would be held from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and not a single penny would be charged from the patients,” Prof Qamar stated.

Speaking to The News following the inauguration ceremony, he said the NICVD conducts thousands of angioplasties, paediatric surgeries, bypass operations and several other procedures and patients at minimum costs; but most of the patients who visit the medical facility from the interior of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab could not even bear that minimum cost, he said. “For patients who earn a total of Rs300 to Rs500 in a day, a payment of Rs100 to Rs500 is a burden.”

Prof Qamar observed that it was his dream to make NICVD a facility where anybody could get quality treatment free of charge. He hoped that other public sector institutions would also follow suit.

Regarding the fourth CPU established under Qayyumabad flyover, the NICVD chief said it was another milestone achieved.

“A lot of lives will be saved through these units as a number of patients die of while being shifted to a hospital due to traffic jams and hospitals located at long distances,” he added. The hospital was already providing paediatric surgeries, pacemaker insertion surgeries and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator devices free of charge.

Pechuho praised NICVD’s initiative to set up Chest Pain Units in different localities of the city to facilitate patients and avoid delays in reaching hospital in case of a heart attack.

“The Sindh government is determined to provide easy access and quality healthcare to all segments of the society, particularly to the marginalised and underprivileged population,” claimed the secretary health.

The secretary health further added that the initiative would educate people about promptly seeking medical in case of chest pain, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, syncope – symptoms of a heart attack – as well as regarding risk factors for coronary artery disease, particularly smoking.

“It is our aim to provide best cardiac services to the people of Sindh at their doorstep,” the health secretary maintained. He thanked the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation for cooperating in establishing the CPUs in the city.

Source: The News International

Two more Outreach Chest Pain Units now operational in city

Two more Outreach Chest Pain Units (CPUs) of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) — one at the Gulbai Flyover and the other under the Malir Halt Flyover — started functioning in the city on Thursday. The Gulbai unit was formally inaugurated by Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar and NICVD Executive Director Prof Nadeem Qamar.

The first such CPU was established under the Allama Shabir Ahmed Usmani flyover at Gulshan Chowrangi in May this year and so far it has catered to over 2,000 patients who were either treated at the facility or referred to the NICVD.

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The CPUs are well-equipped facilities and have the appropriate diagnostic testing facility to identify patients with an acute heart attack and are also equipped to resuscitate patients. The CPUs are designed for providing preliminary emergency care to heart attack patients. After providing initial treatment, the patients are shifted to the tertiary care setup at the NICVD’s cath lab for primary PCI or emergency angioplasty.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Shehla Raza said this was a commendable achievement of the NICVD to continue its journey of serving the people at their doorstep. “The Sindh government is striving hard to provide easy access and quality healthcare to all, particularly to the marginalised and underprivileged people”, she said.

Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, in his address, said these CPUs were a basic health need for the people of Karachi as there were many such areas where there was no cardiac facility even for the middle-income families.

“The NICVD has taken a commendable initiative by reaching out to people through these Chest Pain Units. The establishment of these units is a milestone in the health sector,” he maintained.

NICVD Executive Director Prof Nadeem Qamar said this programme had been launched for speedy access and fast diagnosis of patients with an early initiation of treatment of an acute myocardial infarction or heart attack.“ This treatment can prevent muscle damage and enhance the patient’s quality of life.”

He said the programme was also aimed at educating people to promptly seek medical care in case of having symptoms of an acute myocardial infarction, such as chest pain, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, syncope and risk factors for coronary artery disease, particularly smoking.

Prof Qamar said the NICVD was the world’s largest centre for the Primary Angioplasty (PCI) programme. “We have launched our first satellite centre in Larkana which is providing major cardiac facilities of interventional cardiology. The NICVD will also open three more such centres in Tando Muhammad Khan, Sukkur and Sehwan this year while these centres will also be established in Nawabshah, Khairpur and Mirpur Khas in 2018,” he added.

He said the third such Chest Pain Unit had started functioning under the Malir Halt flyover and it would be inaugurated on Friday (today). “More such CPUs will be established in different and far-flung areas of the city to facilitate the citizens in the days to come.”

Source: The News International