Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday expressed her firm optimism that people of Bangladesh would once again vote Awami League to power to complete its unfinished tasks and help continue the country’s unabated march towards progress.

“The country will move ahead and the people will be able to get services if Awami League will continue to stay in power,” she said while inaugurating the newly constructed hospital of the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedic Rehabilitation (NITOR), reports BSS.

“So, we seek your vote so that we can win the next election to finish our incomplete tasks,” she said apprehending that all development works might be stagnant if any party other than Awami League comes to power.

Urging everybody to pray to the Almighty Allah so that people cast their vote for Awami League the prime minister said her government during 1996-2001 tenure had taken projects for establishing many institutes for treatment of the neuro, kidney and eye patients.

“But unfortunately we had to complete those projects when we came to power again after eight years,” she said adding that “people of the Bangladesh should not fall prey to any such situation in future.”

Addressing the function on the premises of NITOR at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar she said, after coming to power in 2009 she realized the needs of upgrading the NITOR. That has resulted in today’s inauguration of the newly expanded hospital building, she added.

“Health is the source of all happiness. So the government has attached the highest importance to ensure healthcare services to the people,” she said urging the doctors and nurses to try their level best to serve the patients with utmost sincerity.

Sheikh Hasina hoped that the doctors, nurses and other staffs of the hospitals would try their level best to serve the injured and patients urging them to take their profession as a mission.

The prime minister praised the doctors and nurses for their relentless services to huge number of patients.

Health Minister Mohamamd Nasim presided over the function while Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and State Minster for Health Jahid Malek were present as special guests.

Health secretary Md. Sirajul Haq and Director of NITOR Dr Abdul Gani Mollah also spoke on the occasion while a documentary on the progress of the health sector during the tenure of the present government was exhibited.

Sheikh Hasina said her government is doing everything to expand opportunities of higher medical studies. In view of this, she said, specialized hospitals are being established alongside establishing higher educational institutions.

On the occasion the prime minister also inaugurated and laid foundations of five more development projects of the health department. The projects are- a 248-bed female hostel of Dhaka Dental College in Mirpur, extended building of the Institute of Health Technology in Mohakhali, expansion of National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital, 3rd phase work of the head office of the Department of Health at Mohakhali, Dhaka, and expansion of north and south blocks of the National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD).

Sheikh Hasina said after independence Father of the Nation Bangabandhu had taken milestone steps for expanding the health services. In a speech ahead of the 1970 general election Bangabandhu had laid importance on establishing medical and technical university in a quick pace to create competent manpower.

She said after independence Bangabandhu had launched rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war ravaged country as well had taken all measures necessary to build an independent state.

The prime minister said Bangbandhu had established the BCPS, BMRC, NIPSM and public health nutrition institutions, nationalized the primary education and gave autonomy to the universities.

Sheikh Hasina said after Bangabandhu’s killing the country’s health sector was bereft of getting any uplift for 21 years. People regained confidence when Awami League came to power in 1996 again, she said adding the BNP-Jamat alliance government had closed down more than 10,000 community clinics.

“Our government’s health policy and healthcare programs are now considered as examples before the world,” she said pointing out the services of some 18,000 community clinics and union healthcare centers at the rural level and providing of 30 types of medicines to the patients at free of cost.

“Maternal and infant mortality rates decreased to a large extent due to the relentless efforts of all,” she said adding that now life expectancy rose to 72 years as the government ensured food and nutrition security of the people.

The prime minister said the largest 500-bed burn and plastic surgery institute in the subcontinent has been inaugurated few days ago. Every district will have a medical college and every division will have a medical university so that people get specialized healthcare services in the quickest possible time, she said.

Highlighting the socioeconomic development of the country during the present tenure of her government the prime minister said Bangladesh is marching forward and it will continue to move ahead.

She sought everybody’s support to continue the pace of development and build a happy, prosperous and modern Bangladesh.