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Dhaka Tribune

National Health Council to hold its first meeting

Update : 04 Mar 2014, 07:06 PM

The health ministry is set to organise the first ever meeting of the National Health Council on March 11, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expected in the chair.

Health Secretary MM Neazuddin, also the member secretary of the National Health Council (NHC), has confirmed that the meeting would be held on that date, adding that it would be the NHC’s first ever meeting since its formation ten months ago.

The meeting’s agenda would include the overall health situation, the successes, failures and ongoing activities of the ministry, he added.

Several important directives aimed at implementing the national health policy by speeding up health sector activities, are expected to come from the meeting, including the introduction of a health insurance scheme for the poor, hinted Health Minister Mohammed Nasim at the annual conference of the orthopaedic society on Saturday night.

Sources at the health ministry said the last government passed the National Health Policy 2011 on January 23, 2012, to fulfil its electoral pledge made in 2008.

The health policy advocated for the formation of a national council, under the leadership of the head of government, to implement the main objectives and working strategies of the policy.

The 46-member National Health Council (NHC), headed by the prime minister, was formed on May 2, 2013.

The other council members include the state minister for health, senior officials from different ministries, director-generals of directorates concerned, senior health officials, educationists and doctors.

The council is supposed to work on developing activities to create equal work opportunity for all, ensure special healthcare measures for deprived people in both urban and rural areas, and to review the activities of different ministries related to the health sector.

According to the National Health Policy, 19 objectives have been fixed to develop the health sector. They include ensuring fundamental health service for all and improving public health, setting up one community clinic for every 6,000 people, prioritising emergency health services, reducing child and maternal death, ensuring standards of service at health facilities, strengthening immunisation programmes to control diseases, and ensuring the availability of essential drugs at a controlled price.

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