Prof. Dr Asit Baran Adhikary

The country has witnessed a significant improvement in the field of cardiac treatment in recent times with the availability of all world-class modern facilities, thus giving people a new ray of hope.
Now the patients can avail necessary tretament facilities at different hospitals in the capital as well as divisional cities. The standard of treatment has also improved even in community-based clinics during last few years.
“Global standard heart treatment is available in the country achieving tremendous success,” said Prof. Dr Asit Baran Adhikary, Chairman and Chief of Special Unit of Cardiac Surgery, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, in an exclusive interview with Bangladesh Post on Wednesday.
“There is no need to go abroad for treatment of heart disease and surgery, because the country’s major hospitals are providing the same treatment as in neighboring countries.
However, we have to change the mindset that heart treatment in foreign countries is proving better than in the country’s hospitals. Treatment of heart-related diseases is cheaper than that in neighbouring countries,” the Professor assured.
A bi-pass heart surgery at BSMMU costs a maximum of Tk 1.30 lakh while it is almost Tk 3 lakh at the Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation of Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM), and Tk 3 to 4 lakh at United Hospital.
A section of solvent people is taking heart-related treatment from abroad, which is unnecessary, he mentioned.
Asit Baran Adhikary, is also the President of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons of Asia, and President of Bangladesh Association of Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic (BACVTS).
He urged the media not to disseminate negative news on heart treatment in the country because the country has already achieved remarkable progress in the sector. “It is not rational to exemplify a rare case for the whole treatment scenario of the country. Doctors always try to save the life of patients as it is their ethical responsibility,” said the heart expert.
He underscored the need for creating a national data base of all kind of patients especially for non communicable diseases like heart, kidney, liver, diabetic, cancer and so on for undertaking more holistic measures of the government.
He said, out of 1000 people some 8 persons, are suffering from hereditary heart-related diseases in the country, while 30 per cent patients die before reaching hospitals.
Some 60 percent people go to private hospitals for treatment after spending huge amounts of money because of the services.
“Such a condition should be changed, considering the poor and underprivileged people, so
that they can get adequate
medical treatment from public
hospitals, that are more affordable for them.”
“The government is sincere about improving the treatment process in public hospitals through developing infrastructure as well as providing logistic support, but I think, more initiatives are a must to encourage the health service providers at government hospitals”, he said.
He agreed that the doctors of public hospitals are working at various private clinics to earn more money.
Poor salary, limited facilities and lack of proper incentives are the major reasons for this. Salary of doctors in India is almost double that of the country’s doctors.
“If the government ensures
such facilities, doctors of public hospitals need not practice in private clinics.
Like other groups of government officials, the doctors are still not deprived of getting their serious treatment allowances,” he also said.
He urged the government to introduce health insurance for all people to get adequate treatment facilities.”
If health insurance is introduced, poor and underprivileged people will be benefited in getting treatment facilities,” he said.
Joint effort of doctors, policy makers, health workers, media and all concerned are imperative for creation of mass awareness for preventing heart disease, he said adding, research and innovation can also help reduce the risk of health hazards.
He also urged the government to waive taxes on the purchase of high-tech medical equipment, and import of such machines by the national purchase committee, to minimize the treatment costs in the country.
According to the latest WHO data, Coronary Heart Disease deaths in Bangladesh have reached 112,791 or 14.31 per cent of total deaths.

Abu Sazzad