Health care gets top priority

10,000 doctors to be recruited shortly

To ensure more efficient and comprehensive modern healthcare services the government has undertaken a massive programme to significantly enhance number of doctors by end of this year. In a major improvement plan the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has approved recruiting a total of 10,000 new doctors to fill in the vacant positions in public hospitals across the country.

The recruitment would take place in two phases, in the first phase a total of 4,500 doctors while in the second phase a total of 5,500 doctors would be recruited. Experts said that to develop an effective, efficient and equitable health system for meeting the goal of improved and equitable population health, human resources for health (HRH) should be appropriate in relation to number, skill-mix, and distribution.

Health and family welfare minister Zahid Maleque on Monday said that 4,500 doctors would be recruited within 2019 to provide more efficient healthcare to the people across the country. Aabsenteeism of doctors in upazila health centres and union health centres is also a major concern. Many doctors posted in their respective public hospitals remain absent for months without attending their due duties.

The fate of rural health centres has not improved in last five decades, experts said adding that despite a substantial leap in the number of medical colleges and turnout of qualified medical graduates, healthcare in the rural setting in general still remains very disappointing. The country has now about 90 medical colleges, turning out thousands of doctors every year. Yet, the country suffers from a tremendous shortage of doctors, mostly at the rural level.

According to statistics, there are only 1.1 doctors per 10,000 people in rural areas compared to 18.2 for the similar number in urban areas. And that too on paper only for the rural area, since the doctors appointed in a rural clinic often do not live there. “Shortage of human resources was the major obstacle to ensuring smooth health-care services for the people…Our Prime Minister asked us to recruit 10,000 doctors, in the first phase we would recruit 4,500 this year and another 5,500 would be recruited next year,” he said.

He said this to journalists after inaugurating the newly constructed six storied building of Sheikh Hasina Medical College at Tangail. “We are working to ensure proper health facility for the people at the directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said. Sheikh Hasina recently received the prestigious ‘Vaccine Hero’ award in recognition of Bangladesh’s outstanding success in vaccination to immunise children.

Sanowar Hossain MP for Tangail constituency presided over the programme while Joaherul Islam MP, Tanvir Hasan MP, Ahsanul Islam MP, Tangail Zila Parishad chairman Fazlur Rahman Khan Faruk, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University former vice-chancellor Kamrul Hasan Khan were present, among others, at the programme.