Speakers at a discussion in the city have stressed the need for formulating an inclusive health policy to ensure health services for the country's mass people.
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) arranged the discussion titled 'Achievements in health sector and people's expectation', marking the inauguration of Health Policy Dialogue of its SHARE Project in the city on Saturday, reports UNB.
Icddr,b scientist Dr Iqbal Anwar presented the keynote paper titled 'Achievements in the health sector and the key challenges' at the discussion.
In the keynote paper, Dr Iqbal said Bangladesh has achieved huge success in some sectors in recent days like reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality and family planning.
He also emphasised inadequate budget allocation, shortage of human resources, inequity in health service delivery in hard-to-reach areas, prevalence of non-communicable diseases and high out of pocket expenditure of people as key challenges.
Iqbal Anwar said the country has inadequate number of doctors, nurses and midwives compared to the neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, the Maldives and India.
"There're only 27.6 physicians for 10,000 people in the country and the doctor: nurse ratio is 0.6," said Dr Anwar.
He said most people still seek healthcare from private and informal sectors for perceived serious illness.
Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (Birdem) chief consultant Prof Dr. TA Chowdhury said public-private partnership in health sector is important to increase health services but it is also important to regulate private sector.
He said nutrition is still a big challenge in our country and collective efforts of all, including the health sector, can bring success in the field.
TA Chowdhury said most people still go to quacks at the primary stage and if these doctors can be trained properly they can serve well.
Icddr,b consultant and former chief scientist Dr Mostak Hossain, Dhaka University professor Jobaida Nasrin, Monpura Health and Family Planning officer Dr Mahmud Rashid, Bangladesh Health Reporters' Forum (BHRF) president Toufiq Maruf, doctors, communication experts, teachers and people from civil society were present.
The icddr,b project Strengthening Health, Applying Research Evidence (SHARE) officially launched 'Health Policy Dialogue (HPD)'- a think tank initiative to engage in policy demands and dialogue, and commissioning relevant research.
The think tank is comprised of eminent scientists, academicians, development thinkers and civil society members with knowledge and expertise spanning public health, human rights and development issues.