AFC Health Ltd, a concern of Active Fine Chemicals, will open a cardiac care centre in Khulna in October, aiming to provide treatment to about 1,000 patients a month for a 'reasonable' fee.
Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, a leading cardiac care provider of India, will operate the 42-bed hospital, the first of its kind in Bangladesh.
AFC Health will invest around Tk 30 crore in the project and Fortis will manage and provide technical assistance to the hospital.
“Equipped with cutting-edge technology and a team of cardiac specialists, the centre will provide early diagnosis and prompt treatment,” said Sunil Kapoor, regional director of Fortis HealthCare that owns Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.
The country has huge demand for cardiac institutes as the number of cardiac patients is increasing rapidly, Kapoor told The Daily Star, after the two companies signed an agreement at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka yesterday.
“Local patients will now be able to get world-class treatment on their doorsteps,” Kapoor said, adding that the beds of the centre's intensive care unit will be electronically monitored by Fortis in Delhi.
The hospital will offer diagnostic services such as angiography to detect heart disorders as well as varied treatment options, including artificial pacemaker, coronary artery bypass, valve replacement and periphery bypass surgery, he said.
“We have established the centre in Khulna as there is a lack of quality cardiac services in the southern part of the country,” SM Saifur Rahman, managing director of AFC Health. On an average, 10 Bangladeshi patients get treatment from Fortis Escorts in India daily, he said. “The patients will now get such treatment here.”
The centre will provide treatment at the same cost as in Lab Aid and other cardiac hospitals in the country, Rahman said.
Besides, the centre has also proposed to reimburse or take no charge for the last day of a patient's stay if he/she dies in hospital, he said. AFC Health also plans to set up such centres in Comilla and Sylhet in the next four years, Rahman said.
The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases in Bangladesh projected that the mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases would be 21 times higher in 2025 compared to the corresponding rate in 2003.
Currently, Fortis operates 66 healthcare outlets in India, Singapore, Dubai, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
Fortis Healthcare has more than 10,000 potential beds and approximately 280 diagnostic centres, employing more than 17,000. Active Fine Chemicals is a chemical reagent and active pharmaceutical ingredients maker in the country. It got listed on Dhaka Stock Exchange in 2010.