Government increases funding for terminally ill patients | 2017-06-10 |

Government increases funding for terminally ill patients

BSS     10th June, 2017 10:23:37 printer

Government increases funding for terminally ill patients

The government has increased the fiscal allocation for ensuring better treatment of the terminally ill patients who are unable to arrange their own treatment cost.


Finance Minister AMA Muhith in his budget proposal for the forthcoming 2017-18 fiscal year (FY18) proposed an allocation of Taka 50 crore for supporting the patients suffering from five deadly diseases.


The allocation is significantly higher than the Taka 20 crore allocation for the current 2016-17 financial year (FY17).


The patients who are suffering from five life threatening diseases, including cancer, kidney ailment, liver cirrhosis, stroke related paralysis and congenital heart ailment will get support from the Taka 50-crore fund, which would be disbursed under social safety-net programme.


Lauding the government's initiative to increase the allocation, Bangladesh Cancer Society's President Professor Dr Molla Obaedullah Baki said this would help provide more support to the patients who are suffering from different deadly diseases.


He said the number of cancer patients in the country is increasing at an alarming rate due to various causes.


"There are nearly three lakh people are affected by cancer every year in the country, of them around two lakh die," he said.


Giving reference to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Baki said the WHO recommended establishing at least 160 cancer centres in the country to treat cancer patients properly. The county, however, now have only 22 centres.


Besides, he said the centres need more and proper equipment to deal with the patients suffering from the deadly diseases.


Urging the government for allocating more funds for kidney patients, Director of National Institute of Kidney Diseases and Urology (NIKDU) Professor Dr Nurul Huda said the increased allocation in proposed budget is very rational as the kidney patients rising rapidly in the country.


"With the modernization of the country, we also loosing adequate place for physical activities which cause diabetes and high blood pressure and in the long run these two turns to kidney ailment", he said.


According to the World Kidney Day organising committee and the Kidney Awareness Monitoring and Prevention Society (KAMPS), around two crore people in the country is now affected by kidney ailment. Among them, only 10.0 percent can afford treatment due to its higher expenditure.


Founder Secretary General of National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh and liver transplant surgeon Professor Dr Mohammad Ali also thanked the government for the increased allocation, but he said the government should monitor utilisation of the fund.


He also suggested that the government should introduce a strategy on Hepatitis with the increased allocation, which would help enhance awareness to prevent the disease.


The expert said these all are long term disease and treatments are costly, too. Moreover all the diseases are increasing day by day at alarming rates.


About 1.5 crore people suffer from chronic liver disease hepatitis-B virus, 8 lakh from hepatitis-C virus and nearly 2 crore from other liver-related diseases like liver cirrhosis, cancer and fatty liver disease, according to Bangladesh Hepatology Society.