Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has revealed that India has lost around 9.2 million productive years of life due to heart disease. Speaking at a a conference of heart surgeons, Dr Singh said heart disease posed a formidable challenge to the country's resources.
"There is growing consensus within the medical fraternity that urgent measures need to be taken both from the preventive point of view as well as in relation to cardiac surgical care," he added. "The primary long-term strategy to cope with heart and blood vessel diseases should clearly be preventive in nature. We know that many of these diseases can be prevented or at least delayed to a very late age."
By 2030 India is expected to have lost 17.9 million years of productive life due to heart disease. This is a very high number compared to 10.4 million for China and 1.9 million for the US.
Dr Singh said preventive efforts were commendable, but added that surgeons needed to be on their toes. ""Cardiac surgery is becoming more and more specialised and mechanised ...That cannot, however, take away from the skills of the individual surgeon or the collective commitment of the surgical team which are the vital ingredients of surgical success," he said.