HIC hits the road with cardiac services
IN an effort to be more responsive to the needs of people with heart-related illnesses, the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) on Wednesday, May 21 announced a 24-hour rapid response emergency heart care service, staffed with four interventional heart specialists. Effective July 14, HIC will also begin providing mobile cardiac services.
Speaking at HIC's free family heart health forum in Kingston, chief executive officer for the Institute Dr Ernest Madu said, "An estimated 60 per cent of us in this room will eventually succumb to a heart disease and it is important to begin discussions around heart health now to see what we as a community can do... Added to our community interventions, we are also expanding HIC's service offerings with our emergency and mobile heart care services to be in a position to better serve all persons who are in need of heart care."
While highlighting the importance of increasing awareness and action among families about heart-related illnesses, Dr Kenneth Baugh, medical practitioner and Opposition spokesman on health stated, "These kinds of community-type sessions are important as they empower persons with information. This is especially important as sometimes the first symptom of a heart attack is sudden death. So we are encouraging persons to pay attention, have regular check-ups, visit your nutritionist, and exercise."
The free heart health forum, which included testimonials from heart attack survivors, focused on heart diseases in the context of families as support system and a unit for lifestyle change.
HIC's 24-hour emergency response, mobile services and free family heart health forum form part of its overall commitment to improving heart health in Jamaica. This is to be extended to also include a series of free specialist hypertension clinics every Friday in June at HIC's offices in Kingston.