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Dhaka Tribune

Mindset regarding hospitals needs to change

A number of women also shy away from telling doctors about their problems and such an attitude is likely to turn small problems into big ones

Update : 26 Oct 2019, 09:46 PM

Many men are reluctant to go to hospitals, believing hospitals and health complexes are for women and children. But this mindset needs to change, say experts.

A number of women also shy away from telling doctors about their problems and such an attitude is likely to turn small problems into big ones, they added.

The comments were made at a “café scientifique” on gender friendly environments at health facilities, organized by icddr,b at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in Dhaka on Saturday.

Dr Fariha Haseen, associate professor of the Department of Public Health and Informatics at BSMMU,  said:  “Male patients often hesitate to see doctors because they think hospitals and health complexes are for women and children. Men in our society are often told that men do not get sick that easily.

“People still have this mindset that dialogues and policies about gender is a women-centric issue, but males, females, and transgender people are all part of society,” she added.

Echoing Dr Fariha, BSMMU Department of Anatomy Prof Laila Arzuman Banu said she has in her career ,come across many male patients reluctant to see doctors, and it is a misconception that only female patients shy away from telling doctors about their health problems.

The speakers pointed out that a lack of privacy is one of the key things  that makes patients uncomfortable at health facilities, regardless of their gender.    

Sadika Akhter, deputy project coordinator of the SHARE project of icddr,b, said a lactating mother in a 20-bed ward may feel very uncomfortable if there are male attendants nearby. 

She suggested that curtains be installed between hospital beds at all health facilities, to ensure some privacy for patients. 

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