LACK of medical expertise and facilities in Fiji has contributed to the burden faced in treating heart patients.
Dr Seif El-Jack, an international cardiologist who's part of the Angio team from New Zealand, said Fiji needed to improve on those areas if it wanted to ease the burden not only on patients, but on the hospitals for sending patients abroad for treatment.
However, he said they would provide training for local staff to help them in the long run.
He said they were optimistic that whatever doctors learned would be put to use.
Dr El-Jack said this year they gave local doctors the opportunity to begin with the procedures in the first part of the surgeries.
"The first part of the surgery is performed by local doctors with supervision from us," Dr El-Jack said.
"We assist them before we (visiting specialists) complete the procedure."
Each year, over 50 medical specialists voluntarily give their time and services to work in Fiji for up to a 10 to 12-day period.
They bring with them more than six tonnes of medical supplies which are airfreighted to Fiji with practical and associated logistical requirements handled by trustees and volunteers.