Minister Mohammad Nasim raised the issue on Tuesday at an advocacy conference in Dhaka.
Health Minister Mohammad Nasim said: “Why does everyone have to take treatment in DMCH and ignore other tertiary hospitals?”
“Although there are several tertiary-level hospitals in Dhaka, patients are keen to rush to DMCH without considering the fact another government hospital could be much closer,” he added.
The minister was the chief guest at the programme arranged by Leprosy Mission International Bangladesh.
Minister Nasim said: “The government has developed an organised health care infrastructure throughout the country. But the locals are unaware of the facilities.
“We have medicines, we have medical systems, but why don't we utilise the medical facilities?” He asked.
He talked about a 500-bed hospital in Mugda, a 200-bed neurosurgery hospital in Agargaon, Kurmitola General Hospital (with all-access outdoor facilities and pending all-access indoor facilities) and many other tertiary hospitals in Dhaka.
He lamented the lack of awareness of these hospitals which causes DMCH to be overcrowded.
In his speech, he said he had learned of public interest in plans for a hospital to be built on the recently demolished Banani plot of Liberation War collaborator Monem Khan.
The organisers and speakers in the programme demanded every government tertiary hospital have specialised treatment facilities for leprosy patients.
Instead, Professor Abul Kalam Azad, director general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), floated a proposal that DGHS could initiate a system that will allow the leprosy patients to be taken under special treatment near their locality.
Another proposed measure was to train health workers in the field to be more effective so they could better identify patients.
He said the most important thing for the patients was to treat them with care.
He pledged the DGHS would do everything to establish a health care system in collaboration with NGOs and INGOs in the country.