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Universal healthcare for all targeted: Mannan

Published : 30 Sep 2022 09:06 PM

The government is trying to provide universal health care for people of all classes and professions of the country, according to Planning Minister MA Mannan.

He was speaking at the programme of the 'Dhaka Cancer Summit-2022' organized by the Medical Oncology Society in Bangladesh at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the capital on Friday.

Mannan said, "The country has everything from specialist doctors to surgeons. Still, 80 percent of patients are going abroad for treatment. There must be a conspiracy behind it." He said 20-30 years ago, there were no institutes in the country, including for eye, heart (for such treatment), but now there are many. Still we need to do better, he mentioned.

Mannan said, "Sadly, even though our medical system is improved, every day thousands of people go to India, Singapore and Bangkok for treatment. Every day thousands of people fly to Delhi, Madras, Singapore and Bangkok. It is true that many go for education, but the majority goes for medical treatment. Surely there is a reason behind this."

He said that 25-30 types of medicines are being given free in community clinics in the country.

"However, there are reasons behind these clinics not being fulfilled. The pace of our socio-economic change, the plan to reach a developed country by 2040-41, we all have to work hard to implement. For this, the medical system should be emphasized in the rural areas as well. Two-thirds of the country's people live in villages," he added.

Urging doctors to emphasize research, the Planning Minister said, "We are not doing research here, because of which the Prime Minister is also very angry. Research is one of the main tasks of doctors. If money is needed for this, the government will provide it."

Director of the National Cancer Research Institute and Hospital Professor Dr Swapan Kumar Banerjee said that cancer treatment is very expensive.

"Its prevalence has increased in recent times. In rural areas, patients with various types of cancers, including oral cancer, are not treated at the upazila level. As a result, most of the patients have to go to Dhaka. Especially they come to the National Cancer Institute and Hospital. It is possible to reduce these patients if there is a screening system at the local level."