A recent report published by World Health Organisation (WHO) gives us some staggering statistics on healthcare system in Bangladesh. According to the report, Bangladesh lags behind in South Asia in terms of manpower in the health sector. Also, the allocation of healthcare in Bangladesh in comparison to GDP is the lowest in South Asia. Reportedly, the country's total health expenditure is 2.34 per cent of GDP and per capita health expenditure is only 110 US dollars.
Our healthcare sector has long been in dire straits and the only way to improve it by a degree that will make some difference is through massive government investment. Though the incumbent government has taken many initiatives to modernise the country’s healthcare system with modern and hi-tech facilities, people are not getting the required healthcare services from many centres. The government has devised some pragmatic initiatives to ensure health facilities at grassroots, but the tendency of doing private practice by government doctors is making the task difficult.
Evaluating the performance of doctors is
crucial for ensuring
better healthcare services for all
In Bangladesh, scarcity of doctors is a very common phenomenon particularly in rural areas where they are most needed. According to the Manpower Strategy for SDGs, 4.45 physicians, nurses and midwives are required to provide healthcare to 1000 people. But we currently have one registered physician per 1,847 people. What is more disconcerting is that physicians appointed at public hospitals and health centres have long been involved in private practices, ignoring their duties at their respective workplaces. As a result, people especially the poor have been the victim of such unlawful and unethical practices over the past many years. In order to put an end to such unethical practices, constant vigilance from the part of the authorities concerned is a must.
Improving the quality of medical care in Bangladesh has been a high priority over the last decades and a large share of the health budget in Bangladesh goes to the doctors’ pocket working with the public hospitals and clinics. Hence, evaluating the performance of doctors is crucial for reinforcing the country’s health system. It is time to ensure a better healthcare system for all by improving the country’s public health services.