Saturday, 1 April, 2023

Bring back trust in healthcare system

There are lots of reputed doctors and top-class medical institutions in our country. Despite the fact, around 25 lakh Bangladeshis go abroad for treatment every year. But why such a large number of Bangladeshi patients seek treatment abroad? This remains a pertinent question. President Abdul Hamid too raised the same issue while addressing the fourth convocation ceremony of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University (BSMMU) as its chancellor on Monday. He asked both the physicians and the authorities concerned to find out its reason.

The reason is plain and simple. It is that local patients cannot rely on the country’s existing healthcare system. They find the medical treatment relatively cost-effective in some countries than local hospitals. Lack of quality treatment and patient-friendly environment in the country’s hospitals are to be blamed for the dismal situation. Moreover, there is a serious problem that many doctors in our country are not ready to properly communicate with their patients. On the contrary, outbound patients become happier finding foreign doctors polite enough who give due attention to their problems.

There are many doctors in our country who allegedly compromise with medicine companies and private hospitals. In most cases, they prescribe unnecessary tests and medicines, causing public trust deficiency. There are many labs in our country where proper tests are not possible. The quality of foreign diagnostic centres is much better than ours.  Local people have a negative impression that they may get deceived or will be subjected to wrong treatment and excessive medical bills for certain diseases if they go to private hospitals.

Mismanagement, shortage of manpower, widespread corruption, and irregularities, insincerity of doctors and staff as well as relaxed monitoring by the authorities concerned are the major obstacles to ensuring quality treatment and patient-friendly environment in local hospitals. To reverse the trend, trust in the entire system needs to be improved by ensuring standards of quality. Government bodies like the Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB) can provide regulations and accreditations to different diagnostic centres and hospitals, and also monitor them on a regular basis.

There needs to be an increased focus on developing and integrating technology-based healthcare facilities at home. The country’s entire healthcare system needs a complete overhaul. With the right planning and investment, Bangladeshi hospitals can provide quality healthcare facilities to the patients.