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Experts: Lack of real-time data causes chaos in urban healthcare

  • Published at 10:28 pm April 2nd, 2017

The government finds it difficult to initiate upgrades at urban healthcare centres as they do not receive real-time data. Experts at the International Conference on Data for Decision (D4D) in Health, which was organised by Management Information System under the Directorate General of Health Services, made the statement on Sunday. The conference presentations and discussions revealed that the nation has been able to build a disciplined structure in rural healthcare services and gather real-time data for it, but the government is yet to build such a system for urban healthcare centres, although the DGHS denied this. Aminul Hasan, deputy director of the Health Economics Unit and the Focal Person of the Quality Improvement Secretariat of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said they gather information through government-structured processes and in urban areas, such as city corporations, they gather data through vaccine information or NGOs. Azam Ali, team leader of Urban Health Systems Strengthening Project, said: “The lack of data makes it difficult for the government to make proper decisions for urban healthcare centres, causing chaos in the healthcare system.” Dr Valeria de Olivera Cruz, team leader and Health System advisor at WHO Bangladesh, said the problem is not isolated to Bangladesh alone. As a strategic and financial partner of the country’s development works, WHO Bangladesh and the government are searching for the best possible way to meet the problems, she said. Director General of DGHS Abul Kalam Azad said private companies are bound to provide the government with real-time data, and are working hard to manage the data. Syed Monjurul Islam, former health secretary and deputy executive director of ICDDR,B, said ICDDR,B would assist the government in implementing Data for Decision to ensure real-time data flow, initiate the required measurements, and bring accountability. Anir Chowdhury, policy advisor of the a2i programme under the Prime Minister’s Office, said to upgrade medical health services, the government would focus on three sectors: coordination, data visualisation, and south-south or triangular cooperation among developing countries. Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, State Minister for Health Zahid Maleque, and representatives of international partner organisations such as UNICEF, UNFPA, the European Union, USAID, and WHO, attended the three-day conference which begun on April 1 and ends on Monday.