ABBOTTABAD: Angiography machine of the Ayub Teaching Hospital, Abbottabad, has been out of order for last nine months, as a result of which serious cases are referred to Peshawar and Islamabad.

Sources told Dawn that the only angiography machine catering to the needs of patients not only from the entire Hazara division but also of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir had been out of order since August 2014. According to them the repair contract was awarded to a firm on March 28, 2014, which is to complete the task by June 30, 2015.

However, the machine’s manufacturer, M/s Siemens, has stated that the machine is more than 15 years old and has completed its life. Its spare parts and other accessories are not available in the market, therefore, its maintenance and repair is not possible.

It is learnt that the cardiac department has been repeatedly requesting for replacement of the machine, but to no avail.

Professor Umer Hayat, head of interventional cardiology department, said that after the fault in Cath Lab, functioning of the entire cardiology department was affected. He added that daily five to six patients admitted to the hospital needed angiography, but they were referred to other hospitals due to out or order machine.

He said the angiography machine installed on March 3, 2001, treated an average 200 patients per year besides advising other 1,800 patients per annum for angiography and angioplasty. He pointed out that Rs16 million had been allocated for free angiography/angioplasty for poor patients, but the money had not been utilised.

Mr Hayat said that the hospital administration was told it had no powers to award the contract for repair or purchase of the angiography machine.

Another cardiologist, who requested not to be named, told this correspondent that the Cath Lab had different functions, including angiography, angioplasty, pace-maker, removal of fluid from heart and life saving procedures for serious cardiac patients.

He disclosed that serious patients referred to other hospitals had lesser chances of survival as no such lab existed in the entire Hazara division and the patients had to move to either Islamabad or Peshawar.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2015

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