Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph yesterday announced a number of major developments in the field of cardiac medicine in Antigua & Barbuda, including the first pacemaker implantation done since 2002.
Another revelation was that Cabinet has approved the purchase of equipment that would allow for open heart surgery for residents here and to possibly provide similar services to the region.
While the minister’s announcement was that the pacemaker was the first for the local hospital, Mount St John’s Medical Centre, OBSERVER media got confirmation from local medical practitioner Dr Joseph “Joey” John that a pacemaker was installed in an elderly man at the old hospital location back in 2002, during his tenure as head of the facility then known as Holberton
Meanwhile, Minister Joseph said the recently done implantation procedure, was a success for the 73-year-old female patient who is already at home resting. He did not specify exactly when the procedure was done or the cost.
Minister Joseph said Dr Gary Stephens, a cardiothoracic surgeon from New York who performed the pacemaker insertion is now on contract at the MSJMC. It was just in February this year the government met with Dr Stephens shortly after he had aided Guyana in setting up a Cardiology
Centre in the South American country.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, he said, “I stand here today with the first step towards a cardiology unit in order to meet all the demands of our residents and citizens. The Prime Minister has authorised MSJMC to proceed to purchase another critical piece of equipment – a cardio catheterisation unit and this will allow for open heart surgery in Antigua & Barbuda.” Joseph said that over US $1 million will be spent to acquire the equipment, as Antigua & Barbuda looks towards setting up a cardiology unit.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)