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Nov 04, 2023 / 18:21

Treatment abroad no longer necessary for Vietnamese heart patients: Minister of Health

In Vietnam, approximately 200,000 people die each year from cardiovascular disease, accounting for 33% of all deaths.

Many Vietnamese cardiologists are recognized by international colleagues for mastering difficult cardiovascular intervention techniques and treating many serious diseases. Vietnamese heart patients no longer need to go abroad for treatment thanks to the country's scientific advances.

Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan made the statement at the 27th ASEAN Federation of Cardiology Congress (AFCC 2023), hosted by the Vietnam National Heart Association (VNHA) in Hanoi from November 2 to 5.

The minister spoke highly of the progress of Vietnamese cardiology, calling it one of the highlights of the country's healthcare sector. "Vietnam's treatment of heart disease has made great progress in recent years, with many proud achievements," Lan said.

She added that noncommunicable diseases are responsible for more than 75% of all deaths in Vietnam, while cardiovascular disease has become the leading cause of death worldwide, claiming 19.5 million lives each year and accounting for about one-third of deaths from all causes. "According to a 2020 report from Vietnam's Ministry of Health (MoH), about 200,000 people die from cardiovascular diseases every year, accounting for 39.5% of total deaths," Lan quoted.

Vietnam's Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan speaks at AFCC 2023. Photo: MoH

"With changing lifestyles and an aging population, the burden of cardiovascular disease is increasing in ASEAN members," the Minister added.

On behalf of Vietnam's health sector, Lan expressed her wish that cardiologists in Southeast Asia always stay connected, strive to update the latest knowledge, and share valuable experiences in clinical practice to bring ASEAN cardiology on par with advanced countries in the world and repel cardiovascular diseases in the region.

"AFCC 2023 is an important scientific event, not only for the cardiovascular profession but also for the development of the medical community in the region and the world, especially for Vietnam," stressed Minister Dao Hong Lan, urging the VNHA and relevant agencies to strengthen the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases.

Leading Vietnamese cardiovascular experts and international delegates at AFCC 2023

This is the second time Vietnam has hosted the congress, an annual prestigious scientific forum for cardiologists in Southeast Asia and worldwide.

Speaking at the congress, VNHA President Huynh Van Minh said that in addition to the regular scientific topics, AFCC 2023 will have special sessions with the participation of foreign experts related to training from the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI).

Themed "Cardiology at the Crossroads: Challenges and Opportunities," the congress has attracted more than 2,000 local and foreign delegates, including 300 leading cardiovascular experts as guest speakers from ASEAN and around the world. AFCC 2023 focuses on cardiovascular disease management in the context of multiple comorbidities, based on newly advanced interventions and technologies, artificial intelligence, and telemedicine, Minh said.

President of the VNHA Huynh Van Minh makes a speech at the opening ceremony of AFCC 2023

He highlighted that Vietnam has issued legal documents on people's health care, focusing on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. "According to the World Heart Federation, an estimated 4 million people in the ASEAN region die from cardiovascular diseases every year. In Vietnam, about 200,000 people die from cardiovascular diseases every year, accounting for 33% of deaths," Minh said.

For his part, Prof. Dr. Rungroj Krittayaphong, President of the ASEAN Federation of Cardiology for 2021-2023, said that the Federation's main goal is to improve the standards and practice of cardiology in the ASEAN region. "We have remained committed to this goal since our inception," he pointed out.

The President noted that this year's scientific program has been designed to not only capture the interest of the delegates but also to provide them with the most advanced techniques and methods to address the current challenges in the fight against cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Rungroj Krittayaphong emphasized the importance of the Cardiology Federation, which brings together cardiology associations from different countries to work on cardiac health care for the public, with active and important contributions from the VNHA.

President Vo Van Thuong meets with delegates to AFCC 2023. Photo: VNA

On November 2, President Vo Van Thuong hosted a reception in Hanoi for 50 leading cardiac experts and scientists from around the world and ASEAN attending AFCC 2023.

Thuong highly appreciated the contributions and dedication of cardiology professors, physicians and specialists who have quietly made significant and impressive progress in cardiology in Vietnam in recent years.

He noted that the Vietnamese cardiology sector needs to make more efforts in early screening and timely detection of diseases for intervention. Physicians and specialists should serve as role models in health education to raise public awareness about self-care and disease prevention.