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    Rise in NCDs to hit economic growth

    CHENNAI: The rise in non-communicable diseases among India’s younger population will impinge the economic progress of the country and there is a need to create awareness to tackle the pandemic, according to a health expert.Delivering the convocation address on the silver jubilee year of The TN Dr MGR Medical University’s 23rd convocation here on Wednesday, chairman of Apollo Hospitals Dr Prathap C Reddy said non-communicable diseases account for two-third of deaths in India as India has the privilege of holding ‘gold medals’ in diabetes, cancer and heart.He said heart diseases had transformed as a major killer impacting the lives of young Indians; hospitals are coming across cases where people in the 30-40 age group suffer heart attacks.He said India, which faces a far greater risk of heart disease than other countries, does not have adequate training or infrastructure to tackle it. “We are four times more likely to have a heart attack than our Western counterparts,” he said.He said the nation has three challenges which include acute demand-supply gap of hospital beds, severe shortage of health human resources and the new threat of non-communicable diseases. Urging the government to give a stimulus to health, he said the required bed-to-population ratio is established at one bed per 300 individuals or approximately 30 beds per 10,000 individuals. In order to attain the global benchmark India will require an investment of `6.4 trillion. He also stressed the need to increase health human resources by doubling doctors from 0.7 million to 1.5 million besides tripling the nurses from 0.8 million to 2.5 million and paramedics from 2.5 million to 10 million.Earlier, speaking after governor K Rosaiah declared the convocation open, vice-chancellor of Dr MGR Medical University Dr Mayilvahanan Natarajan said that 5,215 students are being conferred their degrees, of which 2,298 undergraduates and postgraduates students will be conferred with their degree in person today. He said five candidates are also conferred with PhD and one with DSc research degrees.Health Minister and pro-chancellor of the university V S Vijay highlighted the many schemes of the government to help the needy.