State to avail heart specialists for every referral hospital

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THE government is planning to allocate heart specialists for referral hospitals in every region as it gears towards improving provision of cardio health services, to meet increasing demand.

Speaking during a forum for cardiologists from various regions in the country held in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya said that the number of cardiac specialists is very small compared to the increasing number of heart patients.

“We have a small number of cardiologists across the country. And the government is working out logistics to increase the specialists especially in referral hospitals,” Dr Ulisubisya said.

Over 150 heart specialists across the country met in Dar es Salaam to discuss various issues including how to offer best, timely and quality services. The PS also urged the cardiologists to do their best with the resources and equipment available in treating heart patients in their areas.

Dr Ulisubsya added that the move will also help heart patients to access services at referral hospitals once diagnosed with heart complications instead of depending on large hospitals.

The Chairperson of the Heart Foundation of Tanzania, Dr Tatizo Waane said the main aim of the meeting was to discuss strategies to address challenges facing heart patients and how to deal with it by ensuring citizens access quality services on time.

“We are looking at why heart diseases are common, which medication is appropriate. There are drugs that are better than the existing ones? We are here to discuss this in order to come up with ideas to improve our services in general.

Dr Waane said that the biggest challenge is that of cardiac specialists shortages and the low levels of understanding for people on heart diseases. “We hope that the meeting will raise awareness to specialists on how to deal with heart diseases and existing challenges in order to provide services effectively.

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