Wherever I go, I hear physicians don’t stay at hospitals: Health minister

Health and Family Welfare Minister Samanta Lal Sen addresses the 10th National Neurology Conference at the Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall at Shahbag in Dhaka on 5 March, 2024Courtesy health ministry

Health and Family Welfare Minister Samanta Lal Sen has said, “I know the physicians face various types of problems and adversities. But they must provide healthcare to the people. When I go to the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament), the MPs tell me the physicians do not stay in their areas. Wherever I go, I hear physicians do not stay at hospitals. This is not warranted.”

The health minister said this while speaking at the 10th National Neurology Conference at the Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall at Shahbag in the city Tuesday.

“How would the villagers get better healthcare if the physicians do not want to stay at upazila hospitals? Time and again I said, we must take the medical care to the remote areas if we want to bring back the glory in the health sector,” said Samanta Lal Sen.

“I know there are some disadvantages for physicians working in remote areas. I’m taking notes of those. I already have started working on prospective incentives for the physicians who would go to remote areas to provide medical care. As I would provide facilities to the physicians, they also have to give proper medical care to the patients. I will increase the physicians’ facilities, they will just have to provide healthcare for the people in villages,” the minister told the conference.

Mentioning that Bangladesh has advanced remarkably in the field of neurological medical care, Samanta Lal Sen said, “The government led by Prime Minister Sheik Hasina has upgraded a 300-bed neurology hospital to a 500-bed one in the last 10 years. The capacity of the neuro hospital is comparable to any developed country. Patients with neurological issues are being found in the divisional and district level. We have started taking initiatives to provide neurological care at the divisional level so that those patients do not need to arrive in Dhaka after much hassle to have medical care.

Speaking at the function, State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Rokeya Sultana urged the physicians to achieve professional excellence as medical science is constantly advancing.

“Physicians should be involved with research works for enhancing their professional efficiency,” she added.

Society of Neurologists of Bangladesh president professor Md Badrul Alam presided over the conference, where healthcare division secretary Md Jahangir Alam was the special guest.

Besides, president of Swadhinata Chikitshak Parishad professor Jamaluddin Chowdhury, Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) professor Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam and Director General of Directorate of Health professor Tito Mian, among others, were present at the conference.