Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday underscored the need for improving the quality of education and healthcare services of the private medical colleges, saying that the medical universities could monitor these activities, reports BSS. “Many medical colleges are being established in the private sector. But we’ve to see whether proper education is being provided or actual doctors are being created,” she said. Sheikh Hasina was addressing a function as the chief guest on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of Super Specialised Hospital of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and inauguration of the Convention Centre, Diagnostic and Oncology Building and Doctors Dormitory on the BSMMU campus in the capital yesterday morning.
The premier said the medical universities could properly monitor the activities of the private medical colleges. “They could keep surveillance on whether students receive quality education from the private medical colleges,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said the government wants to make such arrangements. “We want to improve the quality of healthcare services,” she said.
The prime minister reiterated that medical universities will be established in all divisions of the country gradually to provide better medicare services to the people as well as to ensure higher education for the medical students.
“We’ve set up two medical universities in Chittagong and Rajshahi, while an approval was given to establish another medical university in Sylhet … we will set up medical universities in all divisions gradually,” she said.
In this connection, the public and private medical colleges will remain affiliated to the medical university set up in the respective division.
“But other medical colleges set up in the division where there is no medical university will stay affiliated to the BSMMU,” she said.
She, however, said Dhaka Medical College will remain affiliated to Dhaka University.
Sheikh Hasina said only post-graduation study will be provided alongside carrying out research at the medical universities. “Other activities will be conducted by the medical colleges like the practice followed in foreign countries,” she added.
Health Minister Mohammad Nasim and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Health Ministry Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim were present at the function as the special guests, while BSMMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Kanak Kanti Barua chaired the function.
Acting Secretary of Health Education and Family Planning Division of the
Health Ministry GM Saleh Uddin delivered the welcome address, and on behalf of the Korean Ambassador in Dhaka Chow Min Joe spoke.
Project Director Professor Md Zulfiqar Rahman Khan made a presentation on the Super Specialized Hospital and other centre of excellence establishments.
Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, ministers, PM’s advisers, parliament members, foreign diplomats, academics and high civil officials were present on the occasion.
The premier said the government is establishing new medical colleges as approval has been given recently for launching four new medical colleges in Naogaon, Netrakona, Magura and Nilphamari.
“A proposal for setting up another medical college in Chandpur is awaiting for approval and currently there are 105 public and private medical colleges in the country,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina urged all teachers, doctors, officials, nurses and employees of the BSMMU to devote themselves to properly giving healthcare services to the people. “Then this university will able to reach its desired goal,” she said.
She called upon them to enhance the overall activities of the university to international standard through their prudence and talent.
“You’ll have to put emphasis on research and take effective initiatives so that the people don’t suffer from diseases … we will extend all kinds of cooperation,” she said.
The prime minister expressed gratitude to the
physicians and teachers of the university for their relentless efforts for improving the quality of education, healthcare services and research activities.
She said her government in 1996 formed a separate fund for development of the university. “This time we will give Tk 10 crore so that the poor patients get financial support from it,” she announced.
The premier said the Awami League government taking office in 1996 after long 21 years gave importance to health education and research.
She said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare declared the IPGM&R as Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University through a notification on July 31 in 1997. “We for the first time established a medical university in the country,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said after coming to power in 2001, the BNP-Jamaat government made the first attack on the medical university and turned it into a den of irregularities, corruption and nepotism.
As a result, she said, the healthcare services and the quality of education came down to the lowest level.
The prime minister said the Awami League after forming the government through a landslide victory in the 2008 elections took various initiatives for the health sector.
“We’ve framed a pro-people health policy and are implementing it … we’ve increased the number of hospital beds as well as the medicare services of the general hospitals and specialized hospitals manifolds,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government also set up nearly 18,500 community clinics and union health centres to provide healthcare services to the rural people.
The premier said the government has established new dental and nursing colleges, nursing institutes, medical assistant training schools and health technology institutes.
Sheikh Hasina said the country’s health sector witnessed a massive development in the last 10 years due to realistic steps of our government.
She said child and mother mortality rate has reduced significantly and average life expectancy has increased to over 72. “We have achieved all millennium development goals and are advancing towards the target of the SDGs,” she said.
Highlighting her government’s strides for development of the BSMMU, the premier said the government has taken various initiatives to turn the university into a “centre of excellence”.
“Taka 525 crore have been allocated for overall development of the university alongside permanent allocation of more lands for expansion of the campus,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said 10 new departments have been opened at the university for medical education and research, while evening specialized consultation centres have been launched in 25 departments.
“I hope that such services will be opened in other departments soon and as a result, the people of the country will be able to get the services of the expert physicians at low cost,” she said.
Mentioning that the university has been turned into a dependable place for the poor and distressed people for their healthcare services, the prime minister said initiatives have been taken to launch emergency department at the university.
Sheikh Hasina said arrangements have been made for training of the teachers
and doctors of the university at home and abroad, while it signed MoUs with
post-graduate medical institutions of different countries.
“I hope that our doctors’ community will open up a new horizon in medical
science through research and I also believe that this university will create
new opportunities for medical education in the country,” she said.
About the BSMMU Super Specialised Hospital, the premier said under the
project, an 11-storey hospital with two basements will be constructed at an
estimated cost of Tk 1,366 crore and 1000 beds will be accommodated there.
She said the Korean government is providing Tk 1,047 crore credit on an
easy condition for construction of the hospital.
“I express gratitude to the Korean government for its financial and technical support and also thank all officials and employees involved with the scheme,” she said.
The premier said for the first time, a centre-based healthcare delivery system will be introduced at the hospital, while there will have specific outdoor department for each centre.
She said the Emergency Medical Care Centre will be able to give 24-hour emergency services and nearly 3/4 thousand people will receive treatment from
it every day.
According to an economic survey, Taka 300 crore will be saved annually if the hospital is launched, she said, adding this hospital will be turned into a full-fledged research centre.
Sheikh Hasina said with the launching of the hospital, the tendency of the
people to receive treatment abroad will be reduced and this hospital will be
established as a patients-friendly one.
Highlighting her government’s tremendous success in different sectors,
Sheikh Hasina said the government has been working relentlessly to change the lot of the people following the ideology of the Father of the Nation.
The premier reiterated her determination to build Bangladesh as a middle
income country by 2021 and a developed and prosperous one by 2041.
“We’ve also adopted the Delta Plan-2100 considering the future of the next
generations,” she said.