DHAKA: Garments owners, Fish exporters and any other types of businessmen are becoming the owners of private universities. But why? Government cannot do business for these businessmen. Such law will be framed for granting licenses to the medical colleges where there will be no fluke scope.
Pointing to the various irregularities of the doctors, diagnostic centers and pharmaceutical industries prevailing here Health Minister Mohammad Nasim told that everything is related with health services. If you do business here then there cannot be any services.
Nasim recently in an exclusive interview in the secretariat office with Banglanews frankly talked about the future development planning of the health sector of the country. The discussion included various irregularities prevailing in the health sector, converting the health policy into law, health insurance for the poor people, staying of the doctors at their work places, incentives for them to stay in the villages and checking the adulteration of medicine. The exclusive interview is put here for the readers.
The irregularities of the doctors are visible
At the very beginning of my office I took some steps which might have angered the doctors. They have asked one of my staff, ‘why sir is annoyed with us?’
Regarding it, the influential Minister of this government told the irregularities of the doctors have come to my notice visibly. One doctor of Boalkhali (Dr.Tahmina Dewan) had given eleven days attendance in advance. The incidents of taking advance money, advance loan are known to me. But giving advance attendance was not known to me. So I took action against that doctor.
I know many of the irregularities of the doctors. Many doctors use to send the prescriptions to their preferred clinics for commission. Whereas late Dr. Nurul Islam’s prescription had the scope of purchasing medicine by only Taka two. The patients got cured by that medicine.
The health Minister told there are doctors who attend a number of patients at a time. But in developed world the doctors examine patients taking a longer time. The patient get half cured after talking with the doctors. In our country when a patient goes to the doctor, he is asked what is your problem? Oh, this problem. O.K. I am prescribing, take medicine regularly you will be cured. Is it the right thing?
Treatment has been made commercialized. Here the diagnostic centers are growing indiscriminately. Here, blood examination—and so on others are examined. Even there was instance, that the patient had no problem but it was pronounced that he had cancer. These types of centers having no quality are growing here.
The doctors are doing ‘test business’ through these diagnostic centers which shall have to be stopped. But all cannot be stopped at a time. Action will be taken step by step through planned way.
Strict laws will be framed to stop irregularities
Mohammad Nasim informed that the health policy would be given legal shape to stop the various irregularities. There might be a national health council under the leadership of the Prime Minister in the current month. There, these matters would come up.
He further told that there is a health policy. On several occasions by political influence or through any other gap many decisions are taken.
Raising the matter of private medical college Mohammad Nasim told that 14 medical colleges have been closed. Here they did not fulfill the requirements including the infrastructure, land and teachers. This cannot be allowed. If it be a medical college then there must be qualified teachers, hospital and own campus.
The Health Minister said that we are going to make law and as per law one should fulfill the conditions otherwise no private medical university will be given recognition.
The Minister told that some people want to do business everywhere. Those who want to invest they can set up hospitals and schools in their own villages. Then the village people can get service.
Poor people will be given health cards:
Regarding health insurance the Minister told that for the middle class and poor people I am thinking of health insurance.
For health insurance the poor people will be given health cards that would help them to get treatment in any hospital. Afterwards the government will pay the money. By this card the poor people will get examination facilities paying half or free.
Strict measures for stopping spurious medicine:
The market is flooded with spurious drugs. Many fake pharmaceutical industries have grown up where these spurious drugs are produced. Taking those medicine the patients become more sick. These things cannot be allowed to continue.
Expressing his firm determination he said that strict measures to stop fake medicine will be taken discussing it with drug owners association and drug control department.
Allocation in the health sector will be enhanced:
Minister Nasim told, the development will be done on the availabilty of resources. Day by day the expenditure is increasing while the allocation is decreasing. In the next budget announcement measures will be taken to increase the budget after discussing with the concerned. We cannot do work if the allocation is not increased.
Regarding the deficit of manpower in the health sector the Minister informed that we have proposed it to the Public Administration ministry. It is a continuous process.
The Minister told that in the national council to be held under the leadership of the Prime Minister everything about manpower, health insurance, money allocation, incentives of the doctors posted in the villages and recognition of university – I shall try to take quick decisions.
Special incentives for the doctors staying in villages:
The Minister assured that decisions are underway for giving incentives to the doctors staying in the villages side by side to give them punishments. Nasim told that I am thinking to give incentives to the doctors who will go to Rangamati, Khagrachari and other inaccessible areas. Beside that the doctors who will stay in the villages for two years they will be given increased facilities for higher education and promotion.
Informing the people about special services:
There are a lot of good treatment facilities under government management. Many do not know it. Mentioning the name of National Institute of Neuroscience and Hospital at Agargaon, the health minister told, I personally did not know that there is such a high quality facility of neurosurgery in Bangladesh. In this hospital operation of brain tumor is done. The test valued at Taka 6 thousand is done by only Taka 2 thousand in this world class hospital. There are such costly equipments which are not available even in the renowned private hospitals. The poor people are given preference in this hospital.
People must be informed about the specialized treatment facilities available at Telemedicine centers, National ophthalmology institute, Kurmitola general hospital, kidney hospital and cardiovascular hospital. The Minister informed that initiatives will be taken regarding it.
I will take lesson from the past:
Mohammad Nasim told that I will go forward taking lessons from the past. Immediate after my assumption of office I have already taken some actions. So people’s expectations have gone high. I will go forward slowly. If I fail to do then you people will write that I only make ‘blank fire’.
I have thoughts about many steps for development of health sector. These cannot be done overnight. The Minister informed that gradually I like to proceed for translating those into reality.
Expressing his feelings of last few days about his responsibility as the Health Minister, Nasim told that he is enjoying. I have done politics. Here is a scope to serve the people. I feel it good. I will perform my duty with sincerity. There might be mistakes during discharging duties. However I will do my job taking lessons from the past.
BDST: 1354 HRS, FEB 10, 2014