-  Friday 03 July 2020

Heart disease respects no class

KATHMANDU: Heart disease, for years dubbed the disease of the rich, has begun to spread among the rural poor. This was disclosed at the 10th anniversary function of Sahid Gangalal National Heart Center (SGNHC) in the capital Saturday. The flow of heart patients at SGNHC, especially those from rural areas with rheumatic heart disease, is on the increase, according to senior doctors.

The annual report presented by Dr Bhagwan Koirala, executive director of SGNHC, showed the number of patients at the hospital grew from 5,885 in 2000 to 52,837 in 2005. Similarly, the number of surgical operations performed has increased from 215 in 2002 to 765 in 2005.

"Since the treatment of heart disease is very expensive, the government should think of health insurance urgently," he said.

According to Dr Arun Sayami, a senior cardiologist, a valve replacement operation alone requires Rs 200,000. The government donates 100 valves to SGNHC. But a patient needs another Rs 100,000 for the replacement operation.

Dr Man Bahadur KC, head of the Department of Cardiology at SGNHC, said if the government provides the hospital with facilities like angioplasty, pace-makers and oxygenerator, treating the poor would be easier.



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