In a first for India and heart patients here, the country will soon get its own guidelines for treatment of heart ailments as the Cardiological Society of India (CSI) is in the process of standardising the treatment protocol.
Indian cardiologists have been following guidelines drafted by the European Society of Cardiologists (ESC) and American College of Cardiologists (ACC).
Dr Krishnan Venugopal, CSI president and professor at Amrita Institute of Medical Science, Kochi, said, "We realised the urgency of forming guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of heart ailments. Indian cardiologists follow the ESC and ACC guidelines and have to interpret it according to their experience as the representation of heart ailments in India is different from that in western countries."
The CSI has appointed an expert committee who is drafting the guidelines. These will then be forwarded to all its members and become the rule book. According to CSI, the guidelines will be out soon, once approved by its members.
Dr Ajay Chaurasia, head of the department of cardiology at BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central, said, "The guidelines of ESC and ACC have a one-and-a-half page disclaimer saying cardiologists need to interpret the guidelines according to local disease prevalence. The absence of guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and cost of expenditure was long felt and this is a welcome sign that the CSI is now working on it."
Agreeing with Chaurasia, Dr Kaushal Chhatrapati, an interventional cardiologist working with Surana hospital, said that in India heart ailments are seen more among the youth as compared with western countries.
"India is also the world capital for coronary artery disease and, therefore, we always felt the need to have guidelines based on disease prevalence in India. The heart blocks found in Indian patients are of a different type and severe."
Talking about standardising treatment cost for heart ailments in India, cardiologists believe government's intervention alone will help. "Standardising the treatment cost for heart ailments requires government will too. Cost of treatment depends on various factors and differs from hospital to hospital, according to the additional care provided by them, but we can subsidise the cost," said Chaurasia.