In a first, GMC Anantnag conducts maiden pacemaker implantations

Pic: Sajjad Dar/Excelsior

Irfan Tramboo

Srinagar, July 24: In a historic first for South Kashmir, the Department of Medicine at Government Medical College (GMC), Anantnag, has achieved a remarkable milestone in patient care by successfully conducting two dual chamber pacemaker implantation surgeries. The life-saving interventions have been provided to the patients free of cost under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)
The doctors performed these procedures using the available equipment and machinery, as the hospital lacks a proper cath lab, typically used for such critical surgeries.
As per details provided to Excelsior, the procedures were carried out on two patients aged 62 and 60, who were suffering from serious conduction defects and recurrent loss of consciousness due to comorbidities of diabetes and hypertension.
The team, led by Senior Consultants Dr Shameem Iqbal and Dr Showkat H. Shah, along with Registrar Dr Bilal Ganie, conducted the implantations in the Ortho-theatre under C-arm, with each surgery lasting for 3 hours.
Dr Showkat H. Shah told Excelsior: “For the first time, such surgeries have been conducted in South Kashmir, and they hold immense potential in enhancing healthcare services for the people here.”
Dr Shameem Iqbal attributed the success of the surgeries to the collaboration of various medical departments, including the anaesthesia department and the theatre and nursing staff. He also highlighted that if these surgeries were performed in a private setup, the cost would have been exorbitant.
Both patients, as per the officials, are currently recovering well and are expected to be discharged soon, while they noted that the implantations were done using the existing equipment and machinery at the hospital.
Principal of GMC Anantnag Dr. (Prof) Tariq Syed Qureshi, acknowledged the significance of this achievement, especially for the senior citizens of South Kashmir. He remarked, “Previously, patients in need of pacemaker implants had to travel to Srinagar or even outside the state, but now, with this advanced facility at GMC Anantnag, they can receive necessary treatment locally.”
Dr. Owvass H Dar, Media Coordinator, and Consultant Radiologist at GMC Anantnag, advocated the urgent installation of a Cath Lab at the hospital. He emphasized that with three senior cardiologists available, “the advanced facility will enable us to offer timely and life-saving interventions to cardiac patients.”
Additionally, it was informed that both procedures were carried out free of cost under the PM-JAY, making healthcare accessible to a broader section of the population. The doctors highlighted that a single procedure would have cost over Rs 4 lakh per patient, but due to the coverage under the scheme, a significant financial burden was alleviated.
Meanwhile, Dr Ghulam Jeelani Romshoo, the Head of the Department of Medicine at GMC Anantnag, expressed the department’s commitment to making these advanced procedures a regular feature at the hospital. “We are currently in the process of setting up a cath lab, which will further enhance the capabilities and open up more possibilities in cardiac care,” he affirmed.