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Health care is elsewhere

  • Published at 07:20 pm November 30th, 2017
  • Last updated at 10:48 am December 1st, 2017
Health care is elsewhere
It is a well-known fact that Bangladeshis who can afford it, prefer to fly to foreign countries for medical care. When dealing with a serious ailment, very few of us put faith in the Bangladeshi health care establishment, in spite of the large number of qualified doctors here at home. Quite simply, in spite of the tremendous strides we have made economically over the last few years, confidence in our doctors and hospitals remains abysmally low. According to a 2012 health bulletin, Bangladeshis spend a staggering sum of money -- in excess of $2bn -- annually on medical care in foreign countries, a figure close to 2% of our gross domestic product. It appears that most people would rather spend double -- or ten times -- the amount of money for a medical procedure in a country like Thailand, Singapore, or even India, rather than undergoing it here locally. Our medical establishment needs saving -- it is very hard to get ahead as a nation when there is so much scepticism in our own facilities regarding even the most basic services, while enormous amounts of money keep getting funnelled into foreign pockets. Strong government policy needs to be in place where doctors are held accountable for their work -- people are afraid of being misdiagnosed and lack faith in domestic pathology reports. Furthermore, our medical equipment is badly in need of upgrading -- unless and until we bring these facilities up to a global standard, health care in foreign countries will seem like a more attractive prospect. Finally, our politicians and policy-makers must lead by example; if they always choose to seek medical care abroad, it is unreasonable for the common citizen to wish to do otherwise.