According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% are due to heart attack and stroke.
Over three-quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries like Bangladesh. Out of the 17 million premature deaths (under the age of 70) due to noncommunicable diseases in 2015, 82% are in low- and middle-income countries, and 37% are caused by CVDs.
Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol using population-wide strategies. People with cardiovascular disease or who are at high cardiovascular risk (due to the presence of one or more risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia or already established disease) need early detection and management using counseling and medicines, as appropriate.
Recently Dr. Ong Sea Hing, a Consultant Cardiologist working at Farrer Park Hospital in Singapore visited Dhaka, Bangladesh and had a conversation with News Hour regarding many aspects of cardiac diseases, their treatment modalities available in different parts of the world including Singapore. His area of subspecialty is in coronary artery angioplasty and stenting including complex coronary interventions. He is also trained in structural heart interventions.
Dr. Ong Sea Hing (in the right side) is explaining a heart block fixed by angioplasty.
Dr. Ong was asked about the reasons why people seek cardiac care in Singapore since the discipline has earned the attention in many countries and there are a handful number of doctors available in most of the countries including Bangladesh. He replied that the main reason is the quality of care and the trust upon the doctors that Singapore. He said, “Many of the patients come to us because of who we are and because we to meet one of the important things – being trustworthy and doing the right thing about the patients.”
According to Dr. Ong, the medical world now is becoming more and more commercial and the patients know that as well and sometimes doctors are getting a very bad reputation. He adds, “I see the people who are gone to Farrer Park Hospital more as the people of the same kind who believe in the values of the hospital, fairness, valuation and doing the right thing for patients. I think this is important that you know that the fine people you see trust in this hospital.”
Dr. Ong continued that commercial wise it is very obvious that patients are gonna pay significantly less when they go to Farrer Park Hospital. So especially for self-paying patients, I think Farrer Park Hospital is probably the best place to go because you have got new equipment. There is another hospital that is similar in pricing but it is a lot older you know and the facilities are limited. So you gotta kind of queue whereas Farrer Park has more and newer facilities. I think it is an obvious choice that you pay a few thousand dollars less for exactly the same procedure. So, it is the reason to go there – to get doctors who will do the right thing for you, not overdo not under-do, and to find a place that is value for money. Farrer Park Hospital has all the types of equipment under one roof as a one-stop center including nuclear scans, myocardial perfusion scans, etc.
Farrer Park Hospital Admission Lobby in Singapore
About the cutting advancement in the cardiac treatment, Dr. Ong opined that in angioplasty and stenting, currently there are not that many new developments because it is quite well established but there is some new equipment, for example, new rotor blades, new drilling devices, new high-pressure ballons. The new equipment usually comes to Singapore first because they have special access by the authorities. Then there are some advancements in terms of interventions with the use of new equipment.
Dr. Ong Sea Hing
Dr. Ong Sea Hing graduated from the University of Malaya in 2000, topping his class in the MBBS Year 3. He started work in Singapore after graduation and went on to obtain his post-graduate qualifications in 2004 namely the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians, MRCP (UK) and the Masters of Medicine (Internal Medicine) from the National University of Singapore. His subsequent Cardiology training was in Changi General Hospital and partly at the National Heart Centre.
He was accredited a Specialist in Cardiology by the Ministry of Health, Singapore in 2008. Subsequently, he was awarded the Singhealth HMDP award to train at the renowned Siegburg Heart Centre, Germany from March 2010 till April 2011. During this time, he was trained in coronary interventions and also received training in structural heart interventions such as Transcatheter aortic valve implantation, percutaneous mitral valve repair and left atrial appendage occlusion.
Dr. Ong’s passion is for holistic patient care as well as teaching and training. His involvement in teaching included being a Core Faculty member of the Singhealth Cardiology Senior Residency Program and a Clinical Senior Lecturer for the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. During his tenure in the CGH, he was appointed Director of the only JCI accredited Acute Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack) Program in the country, from 2008 to 2015.
In the area of academics and research, Dr. Ong has published numerous research papers including articles in high impact factor journals. He has been invited as a faculty member of several Asia-Pacific regional conferences and has presented in international conferences including winning best cases in the TCT Best Challenging Cases competition.
Dr. Ong is a believer that prevention is better than cure and therefore has organized several public forums and general practitioners symposiums with a focus on prevention as well as early detection of heart diseases.
Interested patients can contact the following address in Dhaka, Bangladesh for services in Farrer Park Hospital.
Ms. Farzana Wali Liza @+8801783929292
International Medical Consultants (IMC)
Sky Touch, (2nd floor), 43/R, 5/C, Panthopath, Dhaka 1205, Bangladesh