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Huge gap in doctor-patient ratio in Bangladesh   

Published : Monday, 27 November, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 840

It is a matter of sorrow that Bangladesh is at the 2nd position from the bottom among the South Asian countries in the current doctor-patient ratio. According to the World Health  Organisation (WHO),  there is only 5.26 doctors for 10,000 population in Bangladesh. The ratio of doctors and population is not appropriate and also not good enough to fulfill the demand. Our medical system has limitations and it is still problematic till now.

The traditional education system in health and the studies of medicine are not enough to meet up with up-to-date demand. New diseases and problems are coming and people are getting affected by these. Sometimes Because of not knowing the remedy, the doctors are not able to give proper treatment to the people. Necessary machines and equipments are also not available for medical purposes. For this reason, people are not getting proper treatment. The standard of the medical education system, the curriculum of MBBS and related degrees should be world-class and updated. If it is necessary, we can appoint foreign doctors for treatment, critical operations, education, training, seminars, etc.

Doctors has almost no interest in learning new things and doing research. Generally, a student of medicine gets an MBBS degree after that he took FRPS and other significant degrees. After doing Intern, he starts serving as a doctor. Many students take their medical education from private medical colleges. While studying, they get fewer opportunities to deal with patients practically. As a result, they have less experience and practical knowledge of treatment. It is seen many times that there remains no interest in learning up-to-date things among them. Doctors have much confidence that they can give the treatment of the knowledge they has gained in their academic degrees. If they see any unknown item or term while treatment, they anyhow want to convince the patient with their previous knowledge. As a result, sometimes patients get the wrong treatment or are hampered physically and mentally. Then the patient starts suggesting not to take treatment in Bangladesh but rather go to India. Doctors rarely do research. Because of only promotion purposes, they do research for increasing money not for gaining knowledge.

Some doctors are not careful and accountable to their service. While providing treatment, some doctors remain careless. We can see in newspaper articles that one doctor kept a needle in the belly and sewed that. Another doctor damaged a woman's eye by giving excessive leaser. In clinics, this incident happens a lot. Patients don't take legal steps because of ignorance about legal systems. These doctors' licenses should be taken away and given punishment.

The quality of treatment between urban and rural hospitals should be the same. Doctors usually have no interest in going to village hospitals and giving services to rural people. Lack of facilities, shortage of medical equipments and machineries are the main reasons for It. So, the people of the village are deprived of proper treatment. If there remain equal facilities and medical equipments, doctors will feel interested to go into the village and give proper services.

Government doctors should do their duties properly in government hospitals. It should be kept in mind that general people usually go to the government hospital for minimum cost. It is a matter of sorrow that the government doctors are using the name of the government hospital for their popularity and much earning but don't remain present during the time of service in the hospital. In service time of government  hospital, a government doctor is seen doing his private practice. It should be stopped. In government hospitals, patients are seen on the floor because there is still bed shortage. Necessary ICUs for patients are also unavailable.

Sometimes doctors, nurses, hospital staffs, and security guards are involved in sending patients to private hospitals and clinics in severe conditions for commission. Patients are the worst sufferers of it. As a result, Relatives are helpless. Unfortunately, They spend money but lost their loved ones.

From ancient to the present, Patients and their relatives have many complaints about the negligence of treatment and not getting proper treatment. Sometimes, they don't even know the physical condition and the treatment which is given to patients. They face lots of harassment. Mainly private hospitals and clinics demand unnecessary medicines and tests. They charge extra fees which is a burden for patients and relatives of patients. Private hospitals and clinics sometimes declare dead patients alive and send them to the ICU for several days for money. Despite spending much money, Patients don't get enough services.

The purpose of the doctor profession should be the medium of serving not for profit maximization. The reason for taking Doctor as a profession has to be the medium of serving the needy patient rather than making much profit. Some doctors take medical education as an investment to make a profit in the future. Doctors are not interested in listening to the disease history of patients. They has the intention to see more patients in a short period of time because by this they can get more money. Although these challenges and limitations, Doctor is a noble profession. In our country, There are many dedicated and good doctors.

During the time of the corona pandemic period, we had seen many doctors took the risk of being affected by COVID-19 and death but they served patients. They were front warriors then. Many doctors who had been affected by COVID-19 went into quarantine. When They became cured, they again gave treatment to patients. Dr. Kamrul had done 1000+ kidney transplants free of cost. His patients are mainly lower-class people. Later Dr. Kamrul  Islam won the Independence Award in 2022 for his contribution to the field of medicine.

For a happy and peaceful life, Having physically fit is mandatory. No one can enjoy happiness without a healthy and disease-free body. So, people should have proper treatment without harassments and difficulties.

If doctors remain careful to ensure good treatment, then we can have a productive workforce. No family will suffer from wrong treatment and its consequences. Taking licenses from those doctors who don't give proper treatment, banning illegal practices, shutting down bad clinics, etc can be some major steps to eradicate the problems of the medical system. Doctors, nurses, and related professionals of government and private hospitals also clinics must do their duties properly and it is their responsibility. Mass people should be more conscious. If they face any problem, they have to take help from the police. Thus, the medical system of our country will be a good example for foreign countries.

The writer is a student, department of sociology, University of Chittagong

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