BNP MP Harunur Rashid wanted to know when the crisis of physicians in the government hospital will end. Bikalpadhara MP Abdul Mannan had complained that surgeries were not being performed at the Upazila Hospital’s maternity department in his constituency. Shahjahan Khan, a ruling party MP, alleged that although there is a 250-bed hospital in his area, the hospital has been running with physicians needed for 50 beds.

The health minister did not deny the allegations of the MPs. He has given the usual typical answers to the questions of these MPs. He said that the dilapidated hospital buildings would be repaired and the manpower crisis in the hospitals would also be resolved. But he did not say anything about the time limit. Therefore his assurance did not seem to reassure the people or the MPs.

No matter how much the Minister assures, can he give any explanation for the fact that dialysis and cancer equipment of any hospital has been lying unused since 2001? Why action was not taken against the people involved? If this essential medical equipment is not to be used, then why was it procured in the first place?

The health minister must admit that people are forced to spend a lot of money to go to private hospitals due to inadequate health services at the government facilities. But those who do not have that ability, they are deprived of healthcare. Bangladesh has the lowest allocation rate in the health sector among the South Asian countries, let alone compared to developed countries. Even then, the Ministry of Health cannot spend the allocation given to the health sector. So how do people get healthcare?

Hospitals in different parts of the country, especially upazila health complexes, cannot be allowed to continue like this. When it comes to healthcare, not only the MPs of Galachipa in Patuakhali are in trouble but MPs of many other areas are also in trouble. People no longer want to hear assurances from the health minister. We want to see hospitals having necessary manpower, including rapid repair of infrastructures.

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