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The doctor has left town

  • Published at 05:56 pm September 22nd, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:49 pm September 23rd, 2017
The doctor has left town
Too many people in Bangladesh flock to the city for work -- this is a well-known fact. As a result, not only do cities become overcrowded and unsustainable, rural areas suffer from a dearth of qualified professionals, the lack of good doctors being the most regrettable. Some three-quarters of all doctors in Bangladesh with MBBS degrees choose to work in urban areas, mostly in Dhaka, while rural areas suffer. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Ministry of Health have recognised this as a problem, and have repeatedly called for a change in the mindset of medical graduates, but to no avail -- the rift only seems to be growing. If we are to develop this nation, we must develop all of it, and that means paying attention to the rural population and their health care needs. For an agrarian country like Bangladesh, the march towards middle-income status will not be fruitful unless we pay proper attention to the health of all sectors of society, across all income groups. One solution would be to require fresh medical graduates to do internships at rural areas, so that they may become acclimatised to working at the rural level. There also need to be infrastructural developments in rural areas, so that young medical professions find it an attractive prospect to move to and work in those places. Right now, there is tremendous inequality in the quality of medical services one receives depending on where they live -- it is time to outgrow our city-centric thinking, and spread health care of a high standard to all parts of the country.