T&T: Health minister: $8.7bn a year to treat lifestyle diseases

By Gail Alexander
The economic cost to T&T of non-communicable diseases such as cancers, diabetes and hypertension is $8.7 billion annually, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says.

Replying to Opposition questions in Parliament yesterday, Deyalsingh said the breakdown of the annual cost is: cancers ($2.0b), diabetes ($3.5b) and hypertension ($3.2b).

He said the annual cost figures includes loss of productivity due to the medical issues.

Deyalsingh said the Ministry will next week launch plans for screening of NCDs at various locations. He couldn’t confirm if this would include supermarkets.

He said moves are already being made to treat with diabetes/hypertension issues particularly by encouraging decrease of soft/sugary drinks for children.

He said focus will also be on encouraging early screening for the five main cancers — breast, cervical, colorectal, lung and prostate.

The Ministry hopes to promote early screening so cancers could be caught at the early stages (Stages One and Two) rather than in the late stages (Three and Four), he added.(Trinidad Guardian)

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