The Sault Area Hospital is developing a cardiology program to treat hundreds of patients with coronary disease at home.

Dr. Rishi Ghosh, the medical director of critical care and cardiology, says currently, patients are sent to Sudbury or Toronto to receive a procedure known as stenting.

It relieves blockages in the arteries and is also known by the acronym PIC.

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Ghosh says offering the procedure at the Sault Area Hospital means shorter wait times and faster healing and will reduce financial burdens.

“And tremendous cost to the province as a whole because we have to send these patients by air ambulance which involves a lot of infrastructure,” he said.

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“The development of own local PCI program is allowing us to care for our patients locally.”

Ghosh says that will provide better care for patients.

“To begin with, I think we were not meeting the needs of our community with simply a diagnostic program so there’s a lot of patients whose needs were not being met,” he said.

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“So there was a need right at the get-go.”

Last year, 400 patients had to be sent away for the procedure. The Sault Area Hospital expects to start treating patients at home by the fall.

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