Saturday, 23 September, 2023

Overhaul healthcare service

Health is the root of all happiness and a fundamental human right. Everyone should have access to the health services without suffering financial hardship. The government has also reiterated its commitment to achieving the universal health coverage by 2030. But it remains a distant dream in the country. The healthcare services are in chaos everywhere. This is due to sheer apathy of the health authorities. They seem to care little for the wellbeing of the people.

As to why, the majority of people struggle to access quality healthcare. They find it hard to bear their medical bills. Absence of quality public healthcare services compels people to go to private hospitals for treatment. As a result, most of the private hospitals are making money cashing in on patients’ discomfort.  They do so by ignoring the government directives. According to a latest report of this newspaper, private hospitals dictate medical device prices. The price of imported medical devices such as heart pacemakers and valves shows significant disparities in the country.

The DG of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection has voiced his concerns at a seminar in the capital, asserting the necessity for more transparency in this life-saving sector. Not only that, but private hospitals do not care to follow the treatment protocol. Doctors serving there recommend unnecessary tests and prescribe more expensive medicines despite availability of cheaper alternatives. As per another report published at a Bangla daily, private hospitals are charging high from dengue patients for platelet counting.

The Health Directorate must look into the matter and do the needful to protect the patients from the profit-hungry private hospital owners. Private hospital authorities must have to stop overcharging patients. Healthcare service is on the verge of collapse. People are not getting proper service in hospitals. Patients have to bear major part of their treatment cost. If the chaotic situation continues, not only poor patients, but the patients of middle class families also will be deprived of healthcare service in near future.

There is an urgent need to focus on improving the quality of the country’s healthcare. Overhauling of the health sector is a must. Public hospitals should be activated so that patients, especially poor ones, can avail of their services. Healthcare should not be a business, but a humanitarian service.