• Thursday, Dec 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 07:26 pm

Minister: Health sector riddled by external interference

  • Published at 05:34 pm July 27th, 2020
File photo: Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque addresses the press at Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday, January 31, 2020 <strong>Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune</strong>
File photo of Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Action will be taken whenever irregularities are found, said the minister

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said that the country's health sector faces too much external interference.

“It has to be reduced. If we can reduce it [external interference], we will be able to work better and independently,”  said the minister while speaking as a chief guest.

Zahid Maleque made the statement about the health sector in an annual performance agreement (APA) program of the 2020-21 fiscal year, between the ministry and its eight offices or organizations at the secretariat's conference room on Monday.

The minister said: “We are taking action against those who are involved with irregularities. Already legal action has been taken against two organizations.”  

“Action will be taken whenever irregularities are found. The matter about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University [BSMMU] came to our knowledge, we have recommended them to take action.”

However, this is not an isolated case, there are problems everywhere. Suppliers should be honest and those who are working at higher levels have to refrain from interfering with the usual procedures, he opined.

He added: “Our health sector has too much outside interference. Qualified people have to be appointed in appropriate positions.”

The minister claimed: “The death rate for covid-19 infection is 1.35% in Bangladesh which is the lowest in the world. We are working with the lowest facility. Our health sector has less than 1% allocation in the budget which is much less than our neighboring countries.”

He also said: “We are trying to reduce the death rate. We are also trying to reduce the rate of infection by increasing testing facilities and awareness . We cannot control citizens’ movement, shopping, different social-community programs, people going to mosques.

“We cannot control people from going home during the Eid vacation. Hence, the infection rate is increasing.”

The health minister addressed the media saying: “The media also has some responsibilities, not only regarding the health sector. Recently the country has been affected by floods, houses have been flooded, crops were submerged. You (media) have to look into those matters also.”

He added: “The positive sides of things should also be upheld, if only negative things are portrayed it will affect people’s minds negatively.”

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque discussed different development works done by the government and future plans to develop the health sector. He also said that now many services are available in the country which were not available in the past.

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