Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government has made healthcare services more affordable and reached it at every doorstep, alongside making Bangladesh almost self-reliant in treating cardiovascular diseases.
"Bangladesh is now almost self-reliant in treating heart diseases. It has the ability to treat 95 to 98 per cent cardiovascular diseases and the country has efficient manpower, modern technology and required equipment to this end," she said.
The premier said this in a pre-recorded video message aired at the 3rd scientific conference organised by the Bangladesh Cardiovascular Research Foundation at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka.
She said cardiovascular diseases are one of the main reasons for the people's death across the globe, referring to 17.9 million people's death every year from heart diseases.
Sheikh Hasina said almost 27 per cent of deaths occurred in Bangladesh due to heart-related diseases while 10 children are now suffering from heart diseases in every one thousand while one young man is at risk of cardiovascular diseases in every five youths.
The premier said the number of patients with heart diseases increased due to food habits, lack of physical exercise, smoking, and diabetes.
"We have to focus on preventive measures alongside upgrading the treatment facilities for the heart patients," she said.
Briefly describing her government's measures for the overall development of the health sector, she said remarkable progress has been made in the health sector in the last 14 years despite having various limitations.
The premier said as many as 600 hospitals have so far been built across the country alongside setting up 11 postgraduate super speciality hospitals, cardiovascular hospitals, chest disease hospitals, cancer hospitals, neuroscience hospitals and others.
"We have established 18,500 community clinics and union health centres to ensure primary healthcare of the village people. Thirty types of medicines have been distributed from the hospitals free of cost," she said.
Tele-medicine services have been introduced in 43 hospitals across the country whereas there are 30,000 satellite clinics across the country to ensure healthcare of the mother and children, she said.
Besides, she said that there are 103 service centres to give free treatment to five lakh autistic children.
"The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Bangladesh free from polio and tetanus (dhonustonkar) free country due to our tireless efforts," she said.
The prime minister said her government has taken a plan to build one each medical college in every district, adding that the number of medical colleges now stands at 115 from 50 of 2009 while the number of seats in the medical colleges now risen to 10,789 from only 2050 in 2009.
She went on saying that the number of dental medical colleges and units has stood at 37 which was only 13 in 2009.
The prime minister said her government will build one medical university in each of the divisions while four medical universities have already been set up.
She said her government has appointed 10,000 physicians and 15,000 nurses and midwives in the last three years.
"The treatment system of us has developed immensely while efficiency of the physicians has also increased. The country is now giving treatment of the diseases which were earlier treated abroad," she said.
She said various complicated diseases such as kidney, liver, bypass, neuro-surgery and bone-marrow transplant have now been successfully treated in Bangladesh.
The country's heart disease specialists and physicians are now giving treatment of the cardiovascular diseases successfully for which the people are getting its benefits and thus the country is saving huge foreign currencies.
Work is in progress to set up a complete cardiac unit to give treatment to the children with heart diseases, she said.
The premier said the scope of producing more efficient heart diseases specialists with building a complete cardiology and cardiac surgery unit at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
She said that a world-class Cardiovascular of Science and Research Institute having 500 beds has been set up at the BSMMU.
The prime minister said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had established the footing of the country's health sector upon which the country's health system is currently running.
Bangabandhu had set up the IPGM@R and Bangladesh College of Physician and Surgeon to provide higher training to the physicians at the post graduate level to produce international standard specialists, she said.
"Our government had transformed the IPGM@R as the Bangabandhu Medical University Hospital in the 1996-2001 period," she said.
Liberation war affairs minister AKM Mozammel Huq, president of Bangladesh medical association (BMA) Mostofa Jalal Mohiuddin, adviser to scientific committee, ABM Abdullah, and chairman of international academy course, Rajesh M Dave, spoke at the function with president of Bangladesh cardiovascular research foundation SM Mustafa Zaman in the chair.