PESHAWAR, Jan 17: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has allocated Rs60 million to provide free angiography and angioplasty services to patients afflicted with heart ailments.

Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti approved the plan on Thursday to extend free of cost services to heart patients, a handout said.

The amount will be released after a week following which three major hospitals – Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) and Ayub Teaching Hospital (ATH), Abbottabad, would extend the services. The plan seeks to give patients free services at these hospitals irrespective of their financial status in one year.

According to the plan, 5,000 patients will get free angiography and 1,500 angioplasty services. For these tests, the patients have so far been paying at the cardiology department of LRH. It is part of the government’s plan to expand free treatment services in view of increasing number of heart patients in the province.

Until now, the patients have been receiving such services only at the LRH, which remained overburdened with patients. The government has now built cardiac rehabilitation centre at the HMC that will start operating early next month. Due to unavailability of facilities at the HMC, the patients who needed angiography and angioplasty were earlier brought to the LRH.

The plan will also reactivate the cardiology ward at the ATH where the faulty angiography machine has been repaired, but lack of funds hampered free treatment of patients there. Many patients couldn’t afford an estimated Rs300,000 cost of the treatment which they would get free from next month. Now the number of such centres has risen to three. Of the allocated amount, Rs25 million each will be provided to the LRH and HMC, while ATH will get Rs10 million.

The chief minister also directed that this service should be provided through one-window operation and the process must be made transparent by carrying out regular audit of funds and expenditure. He said that the government had already allocated Rs500 million for free treatment of hepatitis patients in the province. Similarly, he said that Rs100 million had been allocated for free treatment of patients suffering from cancer. — Bureau Report

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