Opening Ceremony of the Collaboration Center of International Training Hub for Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Replacement (TPVR)
On April 25, 2023, Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Public Health, was the chairman of the opening ceremony of the collaboration center of international training hub for transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement (TPVR), at Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health (QSNICH), Bangkok. The event was honored with the presence of the executives from Office of the Permanent Secretary, Dr.Thongchai Keeratihuttayakorn, Director-General, Department of Medical Services, Ministry of Public Health, as well as directors and representatives from networking hospitals. Dr. Opas stated that congenital heart disease in children is a complex disease with a high mortality rate. More than half of the patients need heart surgery to correct the deformity, in most cases, patients who undergo surgical pulmonary valve replacement (PVR) need to comeback for reoperation. Due to the complexity of the disease, 10% of patients need repeat surgery which increases the risk of complications each time of the surgery. Each year, there are more than 4,000 Thai patients with congenital heart disease who need heart surgery, and more than 400 have to return for reoperation. TPVR is an effective alternative to reduce waiting time and reduce the risk of repeated surgery. However, PPVI could cost from 600,000 THB up to 1,000,000 THB. QSNICH has been providing TPVR since 2013. At present, 50 patients have been treated. Through continuous follow-up for more than 10 years, it was found that transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement is safe and efficacious. Patients can return home and live their normal lives, get a job and take care of their families. Dr. Opas expressed that the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) of the establishment of the Collaboration Center of Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Replacement in children and adolescents will enhance catheterized pulmonary valve replacement skills, reduce mortality rate of children and adolescents with heart disease in the country, develop referral system and improve patients accessibility, benchmarking, and be a training center for both national and international medical personnel, as well as support academic activities, research, in response to the country’s policy that focuses on seamless medical services and excellence in the treatment of complex tertiary disease. It is believed that this will lead to the expansion of strength in various health areas across the country for the betterment of the quality of life of patients with congenital heart disease.
Dr.Thongchai Keeratihuttayakorn revealed that the Pediatric Heart Center, Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health, Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Heart Center, Songklanagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, and Center of Excellence for Cardiovascular Disease, Rajavithi Hospital, have worked collaboratively in developing cardiac catheterization intervention skills to treat patients with heart disease since 2011. A tremendous support from an honorary consultant in critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) in children from Evelina London Children’s Hospital has strengthened their clinical knowledge and skills, resulting in many fruitful academic activities.
This MOU is a collaboration between seven institutes, including the Pediatric Heart Center, Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health 2. Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Heart Center, Songklanagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University 3. Center of Excellence for Cardiovascular Disease, Rajavithi Hospital 4. Central Chest Institute of Thailand 5. Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital 6. Suratthani Hospital, and 7. Hatyai Hospital.