Sunday, May 26, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Stopping our healthcare from bleeding out

Surely opening and operating a hospital would require a series of stringent checks and balances?

Update : 10 Feb 2024, 04:20 PM

Last year’s record-breaking dengue epidemic certainly exposed the many deficiencies which exist in our nation’s disease control efforts but most certainly in our healthcare infrastructure as well, resulting in over 1,700 deaths and more than 300,000 hospitalizations by the end of the year.

While Bangladesh has recently taken some admirable measures to improve healthcare in terms of its reach, the rise of community-based healthcare -- which ideally would ensure the equitable spread of healthcare services to even the poorest, most marginalized of communities -- being particularly of note, it is also abundantly clear that our healthcare infrastructure remains plagued by numerous issues ranging from lack of capacity in hospitals and clinics to unfettered medical malpractice.

Last month we witnessed the death of five-year-old Ayan at United Medical College Hospital from the general anesthesia he was administered for a simple circumcision procedure. It was later found out that United Medical College Hospital was not even a registered medical institution and had never even applied for a license with the Directorate General of Health Services.

While it is good to know that United Medical College Hospital had been ordered to shut down by our healthcare administration, how was it even possible for this institution to exist in the first place? Surely opening and operating a hospital would require a series of stringent checks and balances?

A potential partnership between Canada and Bangladesh, as extrapolated from a meeting between the Canadian High Commissioner and our own Health Minister, could pave the way towards bolstering our healthcare sector to finally be able to meet our national demands and perhaps even introduce some much needed standards in how healthcare facilities operate.

The healthcare needs of our people should always remain paramount.
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