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Saving Hearts of Ukraine Initiative: first angiograph, and new department of interventional cardiology and reperfusion therapy in Chernivtsi oblast

24 October 2018

Under the Saving Hearts of Ukraine government program, modern angiography equipment was purchased, and all the proper conditions were created for the establishment and development of a new department of interventional cardiology and reperfusion therapy in the Chernivtsi Regional Clinical Cardiology Center.

The key objective of the Saving Hearts of Ukraine government initiative is to develop a network of regional reperfusion centers to fundamentally change the system of care for patients with acute myocardial infarction symptoms, and to guarantee free stenting in emergency cases. Pursuant to Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No.185 dated February 21, 2017 (On Approval of the Procedure and Conditions for the Provision of Subventions from the State Budget to Local Budgets for the Purchase of Angiography Equipment), the Ukrainian government and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, with the support from partners and local authorities, continue developing a reperfusion network, and purchasing the necessary stationary angiography equipment under the terms of co-financing from local budgets.

In Chernivtsi oblast, the purchased angiography equipment will allow specialists to perform stenting in patients with acute myocardial infarction within the first few hours after the onset of symptoms. However, the effective network functioning does not only depend on the availability of angiography equipment, but more importantly, on the coordinated work of all units – emergency medical services, reperfusion centers and cardiac care departments. Today, the reperfusion center in Chernivtsi oblast consolidates the services previously provided by separate units into a single system of care – PHC physicians, EMS providers and cardiologists now apply the well-tested clinical routes and protocols for the delivery of high quality care to patients with acute myocardial infarction.

Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine Oleksandr Linchevskyi attended the opening of the new cardiac care department at the Chernivtsi Regional Clinical Cardiology Center, and noted that the establishment of modern angiography equipment in particular, and the development of this center in general, constitute the shared victory of all people involved in the project, including the local community and authorities, the team of experts from the Health Ministry and other government bodies, as well as all healthcare professionals, constructors and non-indifferent citizens, who were engaged in the project implementation. 

Over 60 patients received the necessary care in the Chernivtsi Regional Clinical Cardiology Center in the first three weeks, since the angiography equipment was purchased.

The development of regional reperfusion centers in Ukraine has already proven to be a successful strategy to decrease mortality for heart-attack patients. In 2017, healthcare specialists saved 420 more lives of Ukrainians with acute myocardial infarction than in 2015.

"The culture of cardiology has already begun to change, and it's not just about new equipment, which is still an important aspect of work, but mainly about people who are willing to implement changes, and to improve the quality of healthcare," noted Maksym Sokolov, co-founder of the Ukrainian Association of Interventional Cardiology, and expert of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

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