The Cardiology unit of Assam Medical College & Hospital was established in April 1978 with appointment of an Assistant professor, namely Dr Bhadreswar Das, who was the first Head of the unit and Dr Ratan Kumar Kotokey was the registrar. In 1980, Dr Amrit Kumar Barooah joined as an Associate professor after completing the WHO Overseas Cardiac Fellowship at the University of Minneapolis Hospital, Minnesota and become the Head of the Cardiology Unit. A six bedded ICU was established followed by an OT for pacemaker implantation. The Cardiology Department was declared as independent department in 1992 when Dr B Das was the head of the department.
Dr Hem Chandra Kalita, who was a DM Cardiologist from PGIMER (Chandigarh) joined as an Assistant Professor in December 1990. He became the head of the Department in 1994 after the retirement of Professor B Das. Professor H C Kalita took up the cudgel of the development of the Department of Cardiology in AMC further. Dr Kalita worked for the overall growth of the department including development of quality manpower. So a group of young cardiologist emerged who not only enriched AMC, but some of them later enriched another medical college, namely Guwahati Medical College. The members of this group included Dr Dibyajyoti Dutta ( DM from PGI, Chandigarh), Dr Mriganka S Chaliha ( DM from PGI Chandigarh), Dr Bornali Dutta ( DM from PGI Chandigarh) and Dr Farhin Iqbal ( DM from GMC). Dr Bornali Dutta and Dr Farhin Iqbal were transferred to GMCH , where the former is currently acting as HOD. Dr D J Dutta is now Professor and Dr M S Chaliha is Associate Professor of Cardiology in Assam Medical College. Dr Alok Jyoti Malakar, who was also a register here, completed his DM from GMCH and joined the department as Assistant Professor in the year 2018. He is now being allowed to work in JMCH.
The first permanent pacemaker lmplantation(PPI) in AMC was done by epicardial surgery method way back in 1980. Dr Amrit Kumar Barooah performed the first endocardial PPI through left subclavian venous puncture without the use of IITV fluoroscopy machine. Soon to follow were such similar procedures till a new set of IITV fluoroscopy and six monitoring equipments were procured. Since then, PPI become a routine affair in AMC for many years. But as the IITV fluoroscopy machine went out of order and a new one could not be obtained in spite of repeated appeals, there was a lag period till 2005. Dr Kalita managed to get few PPI done in the department of radiology where there was a fixed IITV for doing barium enema etc. A new IITV fluoroscopy in cardiology could only be got in 2005. Subsequently other important equipments like Echocardiography machine, TMT Machine and Holter were added to the department. A new ICU unit and a new building were inaugurated in the year 2003.Subsequently another 7 bedded ICCU was added in the year 2018 with the help of NHM. In march 2007, the Department in association with IGNOU started a 2 years course of post graduate diploma of clinical cardiology (PGDCC) which continued for six years This course was the first course in cardiology in entire north eastern states and many trained doctors were produced. These trained doctors are giving excellent service in periphery where there is paucity of qualified cardiologists.
The effort was always on to have a full fledged Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) and installation of a cardiac catheterization laboratory. However two separate proposals to NEC in the period from 2005 to 2012 were not granted. But finally a proposal for Cath Lab and facility for open heart surgery , which was submitted to ONGC in 2012 under CSR Scheme was accepted . A Cardiac Cathlab(Siemens Artis Zee Cardiac Cath Lab) was finally installed on 10/08/2014. First Angiography was done on 10/08/2014. First Angiography was done through Radial route on 10/06/2015. First Angioplasty was done on 01/07/2015, EPS was started on 10/06/2016. The first PDA closure on 29/10/2016. First Radio Frequency Ablation procedure was done on 22/02/2017. The first ASD closure was done on 27/03/2017. The first peripheral angio and selerotherapy was done on 04/07/2017
Presently besides regular non invasive cardiology services like Echocardiography, TMT and Holter services, the department runs 24 hour emergency services and round the clock ICCU services.
At present more than 200 temporary and 300 permanent pacemakers are being implanted every year. Regular coronary intervention is routinely done.