GPHC to benefit from additional Cath Lab to boost cardiac services

The Guyana Government is currently procuring an additional Catheterisation Laboratory (CATH lab) to boost its services to the citizens at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
The substantial investment in cutting-edge equipment is a result of President Dr Irfaan Ali’s commitment to enhancing the capabilities of the hospital’s cardiology department.

Wide- view of a state-of-the-art Catheterisation Laboratory

During brief remarks at GPHC’s second annual Cardiology Symposium held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, Liliendaal on Saturday, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Robbie Rambarran stated that the new lab will allow GPHC to serve more Guyanese in need of cardiac care.
This includes diagnostic cardiology, interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery.
“This investment will undoubtedly elevate our capacity to diagnose and treat complex cardiovascular conditions benefiting patients across Guyana…While we acknowledge that there is much more work to be done and many plans to improve our facility, equipment and overall service for all Guyanese, I am incredibly proud of the progress we have made thus far,” he said as he announced plans for another Catheterisation Laboratory.
Further, Rambarran explained that the investment in training and education has been instrumental in enhancing the capacity of staff and improving patient outcomes.
On this point, he reminded that some six nurses graduated in 2023 from the inaugural batch of the cardiovascular nurses’ degree programme, along with two technicians who acquired a post-graduate diploma in echocardiography through the GPHC Institute of Health Science Education and the University of Guyana.
Additionally, a total of 20 of the hospital’s nurses completed the congenital heart disease training curriculum. This, he said, is a testament to enhancing their skills and knowledge in specialised areas of cardiology care.
According to the CEO, at present, they have a group of eight nursing assistants ongoing specialised ECG training and two technicians undergoing intensive training in echo-sonography to transition to a technician within the cardiology department.
‘These training areas are made possible through the Guyana Project for Advanced Cardiac Care (GPAC), a testament to our ongoing commitment to investing in the professional development of the healthcare workforce by equipping our staff with the necessary skills and expertise. We are not only enhancing the quality of care we provide but also empowering our team to meet the evolving needs of our patients,” he related.
Following the reactivation of the partnership with the GPHC and Gift of Life International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to providing lifesaving cardiac care to countries like Guyana, the hospital was able to facilitate 18 paediatric cardiac surgeries throughout two missions in 2023.
However, this year saw eight complex cardiology cardiac surgeries being done so far, with two more missions expected to be completed within the year.
In highlighting the immense achievement of the department, Rambarran said that in 2023, the Cardiology Department witnessed a remarkable influx of patients seeking care with a total of 2538 cardiology scans conducted.
According to the CEO, the team also performed 14,249 echocardiograms, 220 stress tests, 616 angiograms, 286 stent replacements, and 49 pacemakers’ implants, underscoring the comprehensive range of cardiovascular intervention offered at the facility.

First Cath Lab
GPHC’s first $2.1 billion Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory was commissioned in 2016 through a collaboration with the Caribbean Heart Institute (CHI).
Located in the compound of the GPHC, the new lab was said to be the largest and most advanced of its kind in the Caribbean and it is equipped to offer procedures, such as cardiac catheterisations, the insertion of cardiac stents, pacemakers and defibrillators through the groin without open heart surgery.
At the time, heart disease was the one cause of death globally, with an estimated 17.5 million people dying from it in 2012.
The lab was part of Guyana’s efforts to change these figures through the use of technology.
Nevertheless, citizens were still urged to adopt healthier lifestyles and behaviours as it pertains to cardiovascular diseases and the risk factors, which include obesity, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and harmful consumption of alcohol and tobacco.