'The concept of development will change'

Serajul Islam Chowdhury
Serajul Islam ChowdhuryFile photo

Citizens in the country are more or less aware of their responsibility at the moment. To say simply, let’s survive and help others survive.

In this context of life and death situation, the dire state of our healthcare system has been exposed due to outbreak of coronavirus. This sector must be given top priority while allocation has to be increased. Allocated fund has to be utilised properly.

The state of our government hospitals was not better in the past. Its management has to be overhauled. At least some expectations were created among the people over private hospitals. People would get better treatment facilities by spending money. The private hospitals were doing business as well as flourishing. We have been astonished at the sight of their role during the coronvirus crisis. During such a crucial time, these hospitals have to be brought under the social ownership and operated.

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We delayed in undertaking various initiatives. There were indecisions and confusions. Different decisions regarding people's leaving Dhaka and going to villages, holidays and lockdown were taken at different times. The government's respective departments are liable for this, not the people.

The crisis during the coronavirus pandemic will change our concept of development. We have to bring in changes the concept we are pursuing and the thoughts we are being guided by.

Development does not only mean building roads, bridges, infrastructure or establishments, development actually means the security of the people, and health is the core issue of our security. Prioritising the health sector, expenditure has to be reduced in the non-productive sectors. This is a reality for both Bangladesh and the world that the people’s security has to be ensured giving up the weapons of mass destruction.

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It is true that coronavirus has affected almost all countries. Rich nations will come out of the crisis, poor nations like us will be at stake.

In under-developed countries, the poor will be poorer while social disparity will increase further. Countless people are now begging along the roads and markets. The number of poor will increase in post-coronavirus period.

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I think this is a revenge of nature. Nature takes revenge in many ways. We see various types of revenges like the cyclones, tidal surge, drought, rise in water level. The current coronavirus is a pro-capitalism disease which teaches us to become selfish, isolated and unsocial. We are considering each other enemy. We have reached the last stage of making profit and exploitation-based capitalism. A change or an end to this system will become inevitable in the post-coronavirus world. Through the flourishing of the social sector and a social revolution, we will see a new world free of exploitation, class inequality, homicide and sexual oppression.

*This piece was prepared by Sharifuzzaman as he talked to prominent educationist of the country, Serajul Islam Chowdhury, over the health care system amid coronavirus pandemic.