Govt to permit new medical college as per public needs: PM

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Dhaka, Jan 27: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked the health ministry officials to ensure healthcare service for every citizen and said permit of new medical colleges and hospitals in different parts of the country would be given according to the needs of the people.She asked the health officials to conduct a survey to ascertain the number of beds, doctors and other facilities required for hospitals in every upazila and district, BSS reported.

Healthcare facilities should be expanded according to the needs of a particular area, the prime minister said while addressing the officials of the health ministry as part of her plan to visit every ministry after assuming office for the fourth time.

“Many 250-bed hospitals have a very few number of patients and operation theaters in many hospitals have no surgeon or anesthetist,” she said, adding that this problem must be addressed and every hospital must have an anesthetist.

From now on, the hospitals in different areas of the country would be constructed according to the needs of the people of the particular upazila or district. Every divisional headquarters would have a medical university and all medical collages in the divisions would be affiliated with the university, she said.

Minister for health Zahid Maleque also spoke on the occasion while state minister Dr Md. Murad Hasan and senior officials of the ministry and the prime minister’s office were present.

Pointing out the opportunities of private practice created for doctors in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), the prime minister said every government hospital can create such scopes for doctors. To ensure presence of doctors in upazila hospitals, she said the government has taken a project to construct dormitories for them as well as other government officials.

Sheikh Hasina said from the very beginning after assuming office after 21 years of Bangabandhu’s killing, her government has given the utmost importance to reach healthcare services to the doorsteps of the people.

As part of the plan, she said, steps were taken to establish ‘community clinic’ in every village to provide primary healthcare services to the people. Bangabandhu had taken initiatives to build a 10-bed health centre in every union and accordingly he started work, which he could not complete. In light of his vision, the Awami League government, after taking office, started working to ensure healthcare services to the people, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said her government also introduced the ‘referral system’ in every upazila hospital so that a critical patient can be admitted to the district and specialized hospitals and get treatment under specialized physicians.

The prime minister asked the concerned authorities to make the ‘referral system’ effective so that patients from far-flung areas can get admitted in district and specialized hospitals.

Sheikh Hasina said the first medical university was also established by the Awami League government aimed at creating specialized doctors. Such universities would be constructed in all divisional headquarters. Three of those are now under construction, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said the country lacks in doctors and physicians compared to the number of patients. So, the government has allowed private medical colleges and hospitals so that patients are not deprived of healthcare services.

She urged the officials to give more attention to the private medical colleges and hospitals to improve the quality of their services.

“We are giving emphasis on development of healthcare services as health is closely related to other basic needs. Diseases cannot be prevented without ensuring food as well as nutrition of a person,” she said, calling for continuation of public awareness creating about the sanitary and hygiene.

Pointing out her government’s initiative to develop graduate and post-graduate nurses, the prime minister said all nurses have to take care of the patients more sincerely as the government has give them honour and elevated their status.

“The nurses who are reluctant to give services to the patients should not come to the profession,” she said, adding the duties of the nurses should clearly be defined in their job list and they should be given this teaching during their training.

The prime minister asked the officials to strictly follow the provision of two-year internship for every newly graduated doctor when they would compulsorily be deputed in a rural hospital for one year.

She asked the officials to maintain basic purpose of the ‘community clinics’ while providing primary healthcare services to the rural people. None should consider the community clinics as full-fledged hospitals from where they can only get primary treatment and diagnostic services free of cost. For further treatment a patients would be referred to upazila hospitals, she said.

The prime minister said the government has given specialized midwifery training to more than 3,000 women to help the pregnant women prefer delivering their babies in their houses.

To ensure the presence of doctors and nurses, the prime minister suggested introducing biometric attendance system in every government hospital. She also advised introducing digital health card in every government hospital to allow the patients getting follow up treatment.

The prime minister suggested bringing all government hospitals under the surveillance of close-circuit camera to ensure security of the medical personnel and installations. “We want doctors would deliver their services freely and fairly with sincerity, and they would not come under threat of outsiders or relatives for death of any patient,” she said.

“Attacks on doctors from the patents’ side is not expected at all side by side every doctor should deliver services to the patients with service-oriented mentality,” the prime minister said, asking the ministry to launch a vigorous campaign in this regard.

The prime minister laid importance on modularization of the academic curriculums of the medical universities and colleges, creating efficient teaching staff and providing training to the teachers and doctors at home and abroad.

Sheikh Hasina also called for complete digitalization of the procurement system of the health sector, saying automation is very important to ensure accountability and check wastage of public money.

She also asked the officials to take special measures for medical waste management in all private and public hospitals. Many private hospitals assigned city corporations to dispose the medical wastes, but the job is not being done properly, she said.