In 2011, contact with Myanmar was made via contacts in
India. An invitation to visit was made by
General Tin, The Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the Defence Services General Hospital in Yangon.
A 1 week trip by Dr. Tom Pezzella was made in late March 2012. During that time assistance with 10 cardiac surgical operations was performed. Insight into the growth and development of cardiac surgery in Myanmar was achieved.
Over 400 cardiac surgery operation are performed annually These operations include coronary, valve, and non-complex congenital cases. Over 300 are performed at the military hospital, and the remaining 100 or so at the government hospital, both in Yangon.
There are 8 cardiac surgeons, 6 perfusionists, and 20 cardiologists in Myanmar. The population of Myanmar is greater than 60million with 60% of the population less than 30 years of age.
There are no established residency programs in cardiology or cardiac surgery. Foreign assistance has been in place for many years from Belgium, Singapore, and Australia. Financial support for cardiac surgery is available, though out of pocket cost is required for specific drugs and disposables (about $2000 per case).
Further collaboration is in place with regards to increased foreign education / training, and affiliation with foreign corporate contacts to obtain needed low cost equipment and disposables.