India's Fortis Escorts Heart Institute will start its journey in Bangladesh tomorrow, with an aim to provide cardiac care to around 1,000 patients a month at 'reasonable' fees.
AFC Health Ltd, a concern of Bangladesh-based Active Fine Chemicals, has set up a 42-bed cardiac care centre in Khulna with an investment of around Tk 30 crore. Fortis will manage and operate the hospital.
“The centre will provide early diagnosis and prompt treatment as it is equipped with latest technology and equipment and has a team of noted cardiac specialists,” said SM Saifur Rahman, managing director of AFC Health.
The hospital will offer diagnostic services such as angiography to detect heart diseases as well as varied treatment options, including artificial pacemaker, coronary artery bypass, valve replacement and periphery bypass surgery.
Ashok Seth, chairman of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, will inaugurate the centre.
"Local patients will now get world-class treatment on their doorstep,” Rahman said, adding that the patients at the centre's intensive care unit will be monitored online by Fortis in Delhi.
Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, formerly known as Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, is a pioneer in dedicated cardiac care in India.
AFC Health has set up the centre in Khulna as the southern part of the country lacks such facilities, said Rahman, also the managing director of Active Fine Chemicals.
Around 1.5 crore people in the region are vulnerable to heart diseases, he said, adding that many patients cannot go to the capital in time for better treatment.
The country has a huge demand for cardiac institutes as the number of such patients is increasing rapidly.
The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh projected that the mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases would be 21 times higher in 2025 compared to the rate in 2003.
On an average, 10 Bangladeshi patients get treatment from Fortis Escorts in India every day, Rahman said. “The patients will now get such treatment here.”
The costs will be 10-15 percent lower than those in other cardiac hospitals in Bangladesh, he said.
The centre will reimburse patients or take no charge for the last day of their stay if they die in the hospital, he added.
AFC Health and Fortis have been working on the project for more than a year and signed an agreement in July. As per the deal, AFC Health provided fund and built infrastructure, while Fortis offered technical assistance.
The local company also plans to set up three similar centres in Comilla, Bagura and Dhaka in the next two years, Rahman said.
The company will invest around Tk 90 crore in the three centres and each will have 40-45 beds, he said.
Active Fine Chemicals manufactures chemical reagents and active pharmaceutical ingredients. It was listed on Dhaka Stock Exchange in 2010.
Fortis operates more than 65 healthcare outlets in India, Singapore, Dubai, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
Fortis Healthcare, which owns Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, has more than 10,000 beds and around 280 diagnostic centres, employing more than 17,000.