Pakistan Live has emerged as an important academic event in Pakistan where Professional ethics are given due importance


 Pakistan Live 2019 attracts 27 foreign speakers, about 1500 participants

Pakistan Live has emerged as an important
academic event in Pakistan where Professional
ethics are given due importance

Live demonstration of interventional cardiac procedures
from USA, UK, China, Singapore and Pakistan provided
a rare learning opportunity to the delegates

Training Workshops for Technicians & Nurses which are
important members of healthcare team was yet another
salient feature of this unique conference

From Shaukat Ali Jawaid

LAHORE: Pakistan Live 2019 held here from 4-6th April attracted twenty seven speakers from overseas most of whom are renowned operators in the field of interventional cardiology besides over fifteen hundred participants from all over the country. The event was organized by Pakistan Society of Interventional Cardiology in collaboration with Pakistan Cardiac Society, American College of Cardiology, C3 and Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) United States. In fact Pakistan Live has now emerged as an important academic event in Pakistan which is a unique academic activity where professional ethics are also given due importance. The emphasis of the organizers throughout the meeting remains on teaching, training, promoting academics, discussing and sharing new cardiac intervention procedures with various centers of excellence the world over.

Dr. Bashir Hanif

This year too, live demonstration of various cardiac interventional procedures from United States, UK, China, Singapore and different cardiac centers in Lahore from Pakistan offered a unique learning experience to the participants. It is the dedication, devotion and hard work of the PSIC leadership that an organization which was just unknown even in Pakistan three years ago has now is very well established and recognized not only in Pakistan but all over the world and it gets representation in all the five international cardiology intervention societies like TCT, Euro PCR, Gulf PCP, C3 and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions of USA. Representatives from the Pakistan Society of interventional Cardiology attend these international meetings and chair different sessions. Credit for all this goes to Dr. Bashir Hanif the outgoing President of PSIC and his team which put all energies on organizational matters and academics while keeping up professional ethics. SCAI has now endorsed Pakistan Live and all its future meetings will be organized in collaboration with SCAI which is yet another great achievement. Representatives from SCAI came, attended and observed Pakistan Live for two years before taking this decision.

Yet another important salient feature of Pakistan Live 2019 was special training workshops for Technicians and Nurses which are important members of the healthcare team which were very well attended and they appreciated this gesture on the part of PSIC leadership. This provided them an opportunity to learn and become familiar with the new technology.

The decision by the organizers to invite and honour one of their own colleagues Prof. M. Zubair who retired as Head of the Dept. of Cardiology from King Edward Medical College/Mayo Hospital Lahore many years ago to give him respect and recognize his services to promote the discipline of cardiology and interventional procedures also deserve to be commended. Medical profession in Pakistan will never get any respect and recognition which it deserves until it starts respecting itself and honouring their own senior colleagues at such occasions is the way to go instead of running after the government functionaries. Usually in Pakistan, most of the conference organizers pay very little attention to academics and most of these meetings eventually turn out to be “ social get together of healthcare professionals with their families” all paid for by the pharmaceutical trade and industry while the scientific programme gets least attention. Most of these conference organizers invite government functionaries as chief guest and waste lot of time in protocol duties, with the result that programme often starts late and no one bothers about time management. In view of all these it was a fascinating experience to participate in this academic activity, observe various interventional cardiac procedures being shown live from different centers and listen to the renowned medical personalities in this field from different countries.

The conference started early morning on April 4th while the formal inaugural sessions was held in the evening. In his welcome address Dr. Bashir Hanif President of PSIC pointed out that it was four years ago that we started holding these meetings with a new format and we have come a long way. He commended the international faculty which spared their valuable time to come and participate in the meeting at a time when many are reluctant to visit Pakistan. He specially thanked Dr. Ehtesham Mahmood from Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) from USA for gracing the meeting with his presence. Pakistan Society of Interventional Cardiology has taken lot of strides for which we all, Dr. Bashir Hanif stated, should be proud of. Laying stress on unity among the interventional cardiologist, he urged them that let us all work together as we can achieve a lot more working as a team at the national and international level. We have been able to get PSIC recognized not only nationally but internationally as well. We have succeeded in get it recognized at all the international forums of interventional cardiology.

Continuing Dr. Bashir Hanif said that it all became possible because we all worked as a team. We have introduced many new things while our focus remained on academics. Training workshops, symposium for Technicians and Nurses has been a unique addition to the scientific programme. There was no such forum in the past despite the fact that they are all important members of the healthcare team. We cannot work without them in the Cath Labs. Many technicians and nurses have learnt a lot at these workshops. This one day course has been welcomed by them as it offered them an opportunity to learn and keep them abreast with latest technology. This year we also had a lot of case submissions. Over one hundred interesting cases were submitted out of which we selected thirty six cases for oral presentations. Four best cases will be selected from this and those selected will be sent to present these cases at international conferences. We plan to send five to six people to make these presentations. These young trainees will also learn a lot by participating at international conferences. Almost all the cases submitted were very good but we had a limited space hence could not entertain all of them. We have also started organizing workshops on important procedures and during the conference four concurrent workshops were going on. Live transmission of interventional cardiac procedures from overseas and Pakistan have been arranged. Breakfast sessions have also been organized. PSIC Dr. Bashir Hanif remarked will continue to grow. We have also purchased an office space to establish the Secretariat of PSIC at Lahore.

Dr. Ehtesham Mahmood from Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) USA speaking at the occasion congratulated the PSIC for having organized an excellent scientific programme for the conference. SCAI, he said, was established in 1976 to provide education and training but it became much important in 1999. Our goals apart from promoting academics are to police and manage ourselves. We now have chapters in various countries. Looking at the scientific programme of Pakistan Live 2019, the contents are of very high caliber hence the future for PSIC is extraordinary bright. His advice to the members of the PSIC was to think as to what they can do and give to their society rather than asking what the PSIC can do for them. His other advice to the Pakistani interventional cardiologists was to get their data together and publish their work. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death the world over and we need to address this issue. It is a challenge we the cardiologists face all over the world, he concluded.

Prof. Mohammad Zubair in his brief address said that we have made tremendous progress in the field of cardiology and interventional cardiology. There was a time when no catheter were available in Pakistan. We had no Coronary Care Units. Then the first CCU was established at Karachi, followed by a CCU at Lahore and then a CCU was established at Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology at Rawalpindi. Col. Cheema started cardiac surgery at Lahore in the public sector first at Mayo Hospital and then at Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Punjab and later helped establish many other cardiac centers in the province of Punjab. Standard of cardiology in Pakistan has improved a lot over the years and now most complicated cases are being operated and managed successfully by cardiac surgeons and interventional cardiologist. I pray to God Almighty for our further progress in this field, he added.

Prof.Ambar Malik presented vote of thanks and specially thanked the international faculty for coming from all over the world to participate in the meeting. She also thanked the pharmaceutical trade and industry as well as the device industry for their help and assistance to organize this event.

The scientific highlights of Pakistan Live 2019 included oral presentations in twenty three scientific sessions, Interactive Hands on Workshops on Rot ablation, IVUS, FFR/IFR, Cath Simulation Training, Breakfast Session on LM Bifurcation PCI-Tips and Tricks moderated by Maj.Gen. Sohail Aziz and Prof. Nadeem Rizvi, How to set up a CTO programme in the Cath Lab: Tips and Tricks moderated by Dr.Asad Pathan and Nadir Khan, PSIC Fellows Course in collaboration with SCAI. Special sessions were devoted to Fundamentals of Percutaneous Coronary Interventions, Interventional pharmacology, Interventional Tools and Techniques, Best and interesting cases shared by the international faculty, ACS and STEMI management, Treatment of complex lesions subset, Predictors and management of complications, SCAI at Pakistan Live, Fundamentals of Cardiovascular Pathophysiology, Procedures and Techniques in Cath Lab, Radiation and Imaging, Post procedure care, Complications and Case Presentations, C3 at Pakistan Live, Interesting Best and Worst complication cases. One of the sessions was a joint meeting by USA, Turkey, and Pakistan on Peripheral Endovascular symposium. Another session was devoted to Adult Congenital Heart Disease Interventions. In every session there were over half a dozen members of the Experts Panel who commented on the cases presented and shared their views as to how they would manage the complex cases being presented. Pakistan Live 2019 had something to offer to everyone from trainees and postgraduates to junior as well as experienced interventional cardiologists.

The unique feature of this conference was total concentration and focus on teaching, training and academics. Unlike other medical conferences being organized by the various professional specialty organizations there was no Gala Dinner, no conference bags for the participants, no music programme, no presentation of shields and mementoes. Registration and wearing of identity name badges was essential and no one without this was allowed entry to the conference venue as well as at lunch and inaugural dinner. The funding received from the pharmaceutical and device industry was well spent on academics. There was no company or drug banner seen in the halls where scientific programme was in progress which deserve special mention. Audiovisual arrangements were excellent and the organizers managed concurrent sessions at various halls exceptionally well while link up with world renowned interventional cardiology centers for live demonstration of various procedures was superb and everything went quite smoothly without any disturbance. Organizers of this academic activity were also cardiologists while the parent body of cardiologists i.e. Pakistan Cardiac Society over the years has emerged as the most unethical professional specialty organization in Pakistan ever since it was infected with political virus. Leadership of Pakistan Cardiac Society, Pakistan Hypertension League as well as the Cardiology Update held at Bhurban every year in particular and other professional specialty organizations in general need to learn some lesson from the PSIC. If they can organize a successful conference keeping up the professional ethics it is not difficult for other societies as well provided they listen to their conscience. Dr. Bashir Hanif and his colleagues has done well so far and one hopes Maj.Gen. Azhar Kayani the new President of PSIC, Prof. Nadeem Rizvi President-elect and the leadership which will follow, will make sure to protect the image of PSIC and ensure that it does not drift the way other professional specialty organizations are functioning in Pakistan in the absence of any accountability and monitoring.

According to a later news report, PSIC has also been infected with the political virus. The General Body meeting of the society held on April 5th was very eventful. The new office bearers were elected through elections and apparently different panels had emerged. Many conscious interventional cardiologists felt sorry at this new development and expressed fears that politics should not have been allowed to come in and all office bearers should have been elected unanimously recognizing the competence, ability, seniority and organizational capabilities which is in the interest of PSIC a professional society yet in its infancy. Politicking may not divert the attention of PSIC from academics, teaching and training and other professional capacity building measures. Detailed reports on presentations in various scientific sessions will be included in the forthcoming issues of Pulse International.