The health minister made the statement at a program held at the National Heart Foundation Hospital (NHFH) yesterday afternoon.
Admitting to the limitations of the ministry he said: “We are trying to set districts level hospitals equipped with ICU, CCU facilities. Because of the limitations of the ministry, many districts does not have adequate facility to treat cardiac patients.”
“We have been urging private hospitals for the last three years to lessen their pathological and operational costs, to no avail rendering their services only for those who can afford it,” said the minister.
He said government had already installed 50 and 70 diagnostic machines in Chittagong and Dhaka where the poor can get a proper diagnosis at a lesser cost.
Director General of Directorate General of Health Services, Abul Kalam Azad quoted the World Economic Forum report, 2014, which said that the economic loss from non communicable diseases (NDC) were much higher than other diseases.
According to World Health organisation, preventative measures for NCD would costs $110bn as opposed to the $550bn if the measures against it are not taken.
“If we take proper measures and stop NCDs, we could achieve the goal to become middle income country within 2021 much earlier.”
He said public awareness is crucial in its prevention and a proposal had already been sent to health minister in this regard.
Dr N Paranietharan, country representative to Bangladesh of World Health Organisation (WHO) said:
“46% of the youth are smoker, 23% had hypertension, 93% do not have a proper diet and 38% of them do not regularly exercise,”quoting a WHO report.
Abdul Awal Rizvi said that there is a shortage of skilled labour for treating NCD and they plan on starting a diploma based technical courses for capacity building of that labour market.